The best advertising, is free

That’ll get the brand out there: US border agents uncover $4.6 million dollars’ worth of meth hidden inside of numerous The Home Depot signature buckets

That’s one of the downsides of slapping such prevalent branding onto very useful and utilitarian things like 5-gallon buckets; occasionally, someone’s going to do something bad with them, and next thing you know, your company’s name is being mentioned in the same breath as terms like “methamphetamine” and “cocaine.”  Then there will be all sorts of people who will waltz into a Home Depot over the next few weeks and point and snicker at the stacks of 5-gallon Homer buckets for sale at every store in America and wonder if it comes with any meth.

Forget about the hilariously futile attempt by some shitty drug runners to try and hide 216 lbs. of meth inside of a couple of buckets, because that’s a lot of fucking meth to be hauling inside of a single Ford F-150.  I mean seriously, didn’t they watch Breaking Bad?  Gus Fring barely smuggled like 2 lbs. of meth inside of entire shipping trucks, and that was dunked inside of fry batter and hidden among 100 other buckets inside of a refrigerated truck.

It’s the fact that they used Home Depot’s bright-ass orange buckets and thought nobody would notice these plastic cylinders that are brighter than the fucking sun, and maybe hoped it would be so obvious that nobody would look, but then they tried to smuggle over 200 lbs. of likely shitty pre-Walter White grade meth over the border.

Regardless, I had to smirk and laugh to myself when I saw this story, because inadvertent as it may be, it’s impossible to not disclose The Home Depot’s name when describing this story, and I like to think that somewhere at HQ, sure they’re not worried about it affecting their bottom line, but still wince and cringe at the simple fact that their brand, name and identity is momentarily attached to drug runners, meth and trafficking.

But hey, there’s no such thing as bad advertising, right??

Professional crossroads

I am somewhat at a professional crossroads currently, and I don’t particularly know how to approach it.  Actually, I do know how to approach it, it’s just unfortunately I’m realizing that so few out there seem to be able to understand much less comprehend the choices that I’m willing to make in order to change my career path, which leads me to wonder if I’m really that unorthodox in my approach, or if the world around me is too inside the box thinking.

Basically, I am a graphic designer with 20 years of experience in graphic design.  But I’ve grown unhappy with the direction of my general career, and am seeking to pivot my career, preferably into user experience.  However, in spite of the course that I have recently completed where I think I did a pretty good job based on feedback and reception, I have zero years of experience in UX.

In my mind, the most logical thing to do is to try to get in on the ground level of wherever would hire me as in a UX role, and prove my worth and work my way up, and re-build a career in a different discipline.  Frankly, this would be the normal course path of trying to switch to any job outside of what I’ve been doing over the last 20 years, regardless of if it were UX or going into construction or working at a restaurant.

However, there are large camps of people out there whom I speak with that basically make me feel like I’m crazy to be willing to walk away from a managerial position and going into an entry-level position, regardless of the difference in growth potential as well as just career potential in general.  And it’s these conversations that make me feel kind of sad but mostly frustrated and disappointed at the things that I hear, and gives me more reluctance than I should logically feel about the choices that I’m willing to make.

I tell people often that I’ve left a job that paid well and had a great commute, simply because I was miserable at it.  The company hierarchy sucked, and people were playing professional games, and job titles dictated on whether you were right or wrong.  I left the company and went to where I’m currently at, in spite of lower pay and a shitty commute, because I was pursuing sanity and happiness, and I have zero regrets on making that move.

I’m kind of in the same boat all over again, but the difference is that I’m currently in a managerial role, and I’ve been speaking with more people, on account of the delicate circumstances in which I’m working in, and as a result, running into more resistance and questions rather than support and empathy for the simple fact that I’m miserable with my current job, and am wanting to make a change.

When the day is over, I’m going to do whatever I want to do, but my concerns are that the roles and places I apply to in the future, the people that make the hiring decisions, will also be hung up on the narrative that I’m a manager wanting to walk away from management to go into something entry level and then assume some bullshit conclusion and pass on me.

Frankly, I have a hard time understanding what is so hard to comprehend about sometimes needing to go backward in order to move ahead in careers and life in general, and it’s because so many square pegs like this exist in the world that really makes me feel like traversing these professional crossroads is going to be way more difficult than it really should be.

‘Burned out’ doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel

On any given day, here are the things that I like to accomplish in my free time:

  • Write
  • Run
  • Watch wrestling
  • Watch tv in general
  • Play Fire Emblem Heroes and/or Pokémon Go
  • Do surveys

Coincidentally, that just so happens to be the list of things that I so rarely get to do anymore, on account of the fact that I’m just so endlessly busy, with a plate so perpetually full, that I’ve been feeling on the cusp of anxiety attacks at just how much stuff I feel that I have to do on a regular basis, with practically no help at all.

The fact that I’m writing now is a miracle in itself, and I mentally would really like to accomplish a whole fuckton of writing that’s been backlogging in my brain as well as on the living document I keep a list of topics and things I’d like to write about but the reality is that as much as I love to write, there’s only a certain amount of it I can do daily before the topics begin to run into each other and I put out a bunch of bullshit that I’m not happy with.

Over the last few weeks, my daily schedule hasn’t really changed so much as it’s just had things added to it, as some of them have finite timelines in which they should be accomplished.  However, it’s these extra things that have nickeled and dimed their way into overfilling my plate on a regular basis, and the’ve all been constantly bleeding into all facets of my time not spent working and/or raising a child, that I’ve hit the point where “burned out” doesn’t come close to describing how I feel so much as I just simply feel like I’m drowning.

Continue reading “‘Burned out’ doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel”

One year later (the not-so good one)

It was just days after my child was born.  As she was premature, she was immediately admitted to the NICU, and it was heartbreaking to leave the hospital without our daughter coming home with us, but we tried to take comfort in the fact that she was exactly where she needed to be in order to play some physical catchup to where she would be allowed to come home.

Every single day afterward, mythical wife and I would go to the hospital twice a day to spend some time with our child.  Except for those first few days, I didn’t go, because I had come down with a pretty nasty cough, and given the situation that was rapidly spreading across the globe, understandably, there were some major red flags about an Asian guy having a cough, especially not just at a hospital, but at a NICU.

Fortunately, it was most likely just allergy-related, as like a true genius, I had participated in a double 5K event that involved running two 5Ks in an eight hour span; one at 1 am, and then one at 7 am the following (same) morning; it was daylight-savings themed, and the novelty of it alone made me want to try it.  But in doing so, I had inhaled a metric fuckton of early Georgia spring pollen, and my body was revolting as a result.  However, it cleared up fairly quickly, as the pollen coursed through my system, and I would get to go into the NICU later on.

However, it was on one of those days in which I dropped mythical wife off at the NICU, and came back home to log into work, I have a memory of swinging by the nearby Publix on the way home, and knowing we were low on bottled water, I made a point to pick up some more.  There was a display upon entering for a buy 2, get 1 free, so I figured, why not just get three cases?  With this whole pandemic thing starting to gain momentum, I figured three cases of water between two adults should be sufficient for all this shit to blow over, right?

Funny how perceptions are when you’ve never really lived through a global pandemic in your life.

So here we are, one year later; people with brains larger than a pea, are still wearing masks out in public, if they’re even leaving home in the first place, and coronavirus has officially killed over half a million Americans, and countless many more over the rest of the globe, but pretty much nowhere worse than it was in America.  Several vaccines have finally come to light, but the distribution of them leaves a lot to be desired, considering an entire planet’s population all need it in order to hopefully return to some semblance of normalcy, so in spite of the supposed cure existing, it’s still a slow and still dangerous path to the finish line.

Continue reading “One year later (the not-so good one)”

Something I’ve started doing at work now

Despite the fact that I generally try to avoid writing about work as much as possible, it’s gotten pretty bad, to the point where it unfortunately permeates into my time off the clock, and poisons my thoughts and emotions on a regular basis.  And because nobody actually reads my bullshit in the first place, this is probably about as safe as a place to vomit all my thoughts and emotions without needing to burden my wife, friends, famiry or anyone else I give a shit about with talking about work.

But lately, I’ve decided to stare directly into the camera during certain meetings, like I were Robert De Niro in HeatThe scene where he’s doing some recon for Val Kilmer when they’re on a heist, and he just so happens to be looking directly at a night vision camera being actively monitored by Al Pacino.  It looks like De Niro and Pacino are having a fierce stare down when in reality, they’re two guys in different locations who have no earthly idea that they’re looking right at one another.

Just like the virtual world of professional meetings, that we’re living a reality of these days.

It’s one of my favorite scenes in cinema, and captures the feeling of tension like few really can, and it’s what I think about whenever I stare directly into the green light of my computer, so that everyone else on these particular calls can feel like I’m staring directly at them, mostly when leadership is feeding me all sorts of bullshit lectures, attempting to emasculate me, tell me I suck at my job, or any other verbal act of trying to tear me down, which has become something of a sport to them, it really seems.

But I feel like staring at the camera which in turn makes it look like I’m staring directly at them, makes me feel a little empowered and I hope that I’m making them uncomfortable by looking like I’m staring directly at them.  The irony of it all is that while I’m staring at the camera, I’m not looking at anything that’s actually particularly important, like whatever subject matter we might or might not be discussing if it’s instead how much I suck at my job, but I can also type without looking at the keyboard unlike some of my peers, so if I ever need to be typing something, I can maintain my steely stare directly at the camera.

Metaphorically, it’s my way of standing up to all the bullshit that’s constantly flung in my direction, and I will do my very best to not let it get to me and ruin my confidence as a worker.  But really, I just hope it makes people uncomfortable being stared at so directly.

New Father Brogging, #035

It’s been a while since I last did any sort of post about my plights as a first-time father.  Admittedly, things have been fairly smooth since the last time I really wrote one of these new dad brogs, which might have something to do with the lack of writing about my child, but naturally I know that I’m always another growth spurt or some sort of milestone away from the shit hitting the fan and then the routine that I’ve been living for the better part of the last five months begins to change all over again.

However, for those who might take stock in the fact that my general posting has grown less frequent in more recent times, the thing is that I simply haven’t had the time to write as much as I did, even just a month ago.  And this isn’t the usual, danny is bitching about having so little time because of work and baby, but it’s a little bit more now, because for lack of a better term, I’ve gone back to school.

I’ve been taking a night course over the last month and it will be continuing on until April, so that I can explore the possibility of acquiring new skills.  I don’t think I’ve made much secret of the fact that I’m quite unhappy with where I am at in my life professionally right now, and while casually exploring possibilities elsewhere, the results have not been very positive.  I feel stagnant in my current career path and that I have hit somewhat of a ceiling, and I don’t like my current chances at being able to break through it to ascend higher.

So instead of simply looking for a change of scenery, I’m taking a different approach of acquiring some new and different skills to which I can hope to parlay into something different, and potentially satiate two desires, being a change of scenery, but also to make a career move into a field that is warmer than what I’m doing is, has more potential for the future, and hopefully make more money than I do now, so that I can be a better provider for my family.

Because when the day is over, that’s really all I want to do, is to provide for my family, and hopefully not hate my life in order to do it.  For years, I’ve tossed the idea around in my head to take some sort of class(es) and try to pick up some new skills and make a professional pivot, but I’ve often just been all talk and no action. 

But in an ironic, I have to thank coronavirus, kind of situation, it’s never been a better time to go in this direction, because the school in which I’m taking my course through, is 100% virtual and I can do this from home, because the pandemic has forced them to go entirely virtual.  Otherwise, I’d have had to have gone into downtown Atlanta twice a week to take my course, and I simply have no desire to actually go into the city anymore, regardless of a pandemic or not.

So, I’m getting to take this course entirely online, from the convenience of my own home.  But that also means that for the duration of this class, my already sparse 2-3 hrs of free time a night, two evenings out of the week, I have to forfeit even that in order to take my course, which means that I have even less time to myself, which has occasionally left me feeling a little overwhelmed and overtaxed at times.

But the good thing about having a kid is that it only takes one look at my child to remind me what I’m doing all this for, and to refocus.  And it’s kind of funny how serious I take this course, because despite the fact that I will have the luxury of tuition reimbursement from my current job, I’m still having to front all the costs until then.  And you don’t realize how hard you want to work in school, when you realize your own money is what’s at stake when you’re taking the course.

In addition to the four hours of rare personal time I lose a week to classes, I’ve spent much more than that, on homework assignments and doing my best to really understand the subject matter and actually try and learn, absorb and apply this newfound knowledge, and hope that I’ll someday soon, be able to parlay it into a different career path than where I’m at now.

Can’t say I really blame them

TL;DR: the railroad system in Dalian, China went down because it supposedly was running on Flash, which was formally shut down in December of 2020

Now this might seem like a real easy layup to clown on the Chinese, like my Korean self occasionally likes to do, but frankly, I’m more on the frame of mind that understands the situation and can very easily relate in the sense that something similar, but not nearly as detrimental kind of happened at my place of employment.

Despite the fact that I work for a Fortune 50 company, the clock punch platform that we use still runs on Flash.  And in spite of the common knowledge that Flash was going kaput at the end of 2020, you’d think something would be done about the platform, so that the legions of hourly associates that work for the company wouldn’t be boned when inevitably Flash stops working, and nobody can access the system to punch in, punch out or any other time-related administrative functions.

December passes, and there’s no real news, and when January rolls around, I start getting emails, my peers within the company who also have reports are getting messages, and there’s a lot of people wondering why they can’t log in and punch in to work.  Naturally, there was nothing done to prepare for the long-reminded demise of Flash, and a scramble ensued, and basically some hackneyed band-aid is in place to hold shit together in the interim.

So I can understand how even an essential service like railroads, can fall victim to negligence of the end of Flash, because my multi-billion dollar company that I work for did the same thing, and they typically pay obscene amounts of money for people to be smart to prevent such things from happening.

I like to think of this really as a case of reminding too early, as bullshit as it seems.  Adobe did nothing wrong at all, they can’t be pinned for any of it, because they really have let the entire world and all industries know that Flash had a timeline, but because it happened so far in advance, nobody really paid any attention to it.  It’s like there really is such a thing as too advance notice.

But the best part about the whole story in Dalian was, how casual the article was about how the problem was fixed by installing a pirated version of Flash.  Because of course in the land of counterfeit everything, are they so cavalier about using bootleg software to solve their problems because of course they are.  But honestly, it’s probably no better or worse than the solve my company utilized to mitigate the need for Flash, but it’s just ironically sad and funny at once, all the same.