08 March 2007

Weighty Issues

"Keeping off a large weight loss is a phenomenon about as common in American medicine as an impoverished dermatologist." ~ Calvin Trillin

The ggirl you know now has a solid hold on personal style. People point out clothing in catalogs and say, "That's a ggirl dress." This was not always the case.

I always drop about ten pounds whenever I start a new job. It's not like I mean to, it's just a result of stress. I've worked for this company many, many years now and haven't dropped 20 pounds in at least the past ten.

During chemotherapy, I gained about ten pounds, making me the largest ggirl ever. I weighed about 140 pounds. It completely freaked me out, even though my oncologist kept telling me I'd lose the weight after the steroids went away. A couple of weeks into radiation, I had already gotten down to 135. I was trying to get back to my starting weight of 130. By the end, I'd hit my target weight.

After reconstruction surgery, I've lost another ten pounds. I've reverted to the ggirl I used to be. My personal style has taken a back seat to my inability to force myself to eat. During my first serious job, I had the first experience of dropping ten pounds. It was an extremely demanding job and I didn't really notice that I was losing weight.

It began to be apparent in the way my clothes didn't fit me anymore. I'd stand up from a desk and the back zipper of my dress would have migrated around to the side. I was always a little twisted and baggy. I had a co-worker who gave me grief about it constantly. I didn't make very much money, so it wasn't really possible to buy larger clothes. It made me angry, but I couldn't really refute what she was saying. I couldn't regain the weight, either.

I noticed yesterday that I've returned to the Ggirl of the Twisted and Baggy Clothes. (That's a title much like Miss Universe, but with no swimsuit competition.) I'm trying to stop losing weight, but the trend is not looking good. I was really fond of the number 125 and was hoping to hold onto it, but it slipped away sometime in the past week. I just got rid of all my size 6 clothing prior to surgery, thinking that I would never be that size again. Damn. Some of them were really cute clothes, too.

Now I'm worried that I'm going to return to a size 4, which is what I weighed about ten years ago when I was really ill for a couple of years. I tried to weigh more; I just couldn't.

I guess I'm going to go home a motor through the remainder of a large piece of German chocolate cake and see if there's anything else I can stand to eat. I'm just not fond of food right now. I know that's a condition lots of people would like to have, but I'd just like to get back to 125 and find a way to stay there.

In the meantime, I walk around all baggy and twisted like I did when I was 23. Maybe people will have the courtesy of not noticing or, if they do, keeping the jokes among themselves. I just hate being paranoid about where my zipper is located.

06 March 2007


Last week, one of my co-workers started having duplicate invoice numbers. We have one client that gets billed in several different company names. It's all legal, of course. It's just an added layer of complexity. K. told me about the duplications and so I decided to add an "07" to the front of every invoice number. It made sense to me and seemed to correct the problem.

Yesterday, I got an email from the controller telling me that his accounting software won't accept that many numbers. He says I should ignore K, because she doesn't know what she's doing. Today, first thing, I went in the files and removed all the "07's." Controller happy.

Then K. came in and was upset about the change because she said we're still having duplicating invoices. I opened all of the invoice files--Misc. 2006, Misc. 2007, OtherCompanyName2007--and I can't find any duplications. I pointed this out to K., who insisted that a change be made. I told her to go talk to the controller about it. She wouldn't. I'm not changing the invoices again. This is it. Everyone just has to find a way to make it work because this is getting on my last nerve.

Here's the thing. I just don't really give a shit. I enjoy working with databases and I've had a moderately good time creating all of them. It's the process itself that I enjoy. Yes, I would like it all to be easy to use and efficient. Yes, I would like for it to work well for everyone who uses it. It doesn't keep me up at night worrying about it, though, because ultimately I don't give a shit.

I quit caring what goes on in this company a long time ago. Want something? Ask me. Otherwise I'll just be in my office entertaining myself. Not only is there no incentive to do a good job, there is, in fact, plenty of rewards for doing a crappy job. I got it. I finally figured it out after about 10 years. I don't care, folks.

When other people get upset about how things don't work here, they never like the response they get from me. I nod my head, distractedly, and wander off into another office as soon as possible. I do not empathize. "Sometimes I frown slightly and comment, "Hmmm." Sometimes I ask them, "And where do you work?" That's guaranteed to piss people off. But you know. Get with reality, people.

I've just had one of those moments. No one wants to talk directly with anyone else to resolve the problem. Fine. But I'm cutting myself out of the process. I will not act as office translator. Or diplomat. Or liaison or any other stuck-in-the-middle-with-you jobs.

This is one of the great things about having breast cancer--clarity. I'm clear about where the system breaks down and I'm equally clear about what I'm going to do to address it. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.