Monday, September 22, 2014

Morale morass

Whenever I go a stretch of time without blogging much, I always feel as though an explanation is owed, but I’m not really sure from whence that feeling arises. Unless I am vastly underestimating the number of lurkers out there who read the blog unbeknownst to me, there’s a very small handful of people who visit here regularly, and they all know me IRL, so they’re already familiar with whatever occurrences distract me in any given span. And even making allowances for curious (hopefully benevolent) cyber-strangers who wonder what’s up with the silent treatment, sometimes the reasons just aren’t interesting enough to constitute the subject of a decent post. It is possible for life to be demanding in a fairly unremarkable way, and I am living proof.

I suppose part of the impulse is my ever-present desire to reassure people, up to and including anyone who might just happen to be glancing in my direction, that I’m fine and everything’s fine and it’s all under control. Has the bino been having a bit of trouble sleeping lately, after picking up bugs at his new daycare that never really progressed to the point of being aggressively treatable, inevitably resulting in out-of-sorts parents who are both sleep-deprived and forced to contend with a cranky toddler during waking hours? Yes, there’s been a bit of that, but that’s par for the course around our house, it seems. (And, knock wood, it’s gotten better the past few days.) Has a combination of random flying rocks on the highway and random ladders falling off garage walls resulted in my wife’s car needing a new windshiield (in the former case) and replacement sideview mirror (in the latter)? Yup, but by now the sideview’s already been replaced and the windshield is coming soon. Were we busy trying to get our house in order, everything from the long list of summer exterior projects that I never quite got on top of to the Lego collection that has grown exponentially as of the little guy’s birthday party earlier this month and which now requires its own storage system, so that we could host yet another get-together under our roof, which is something we simultaneously genuinely love and kinda sorta dread? Yep. We did all that, though, like we always do, and the reason we always do is because it’s always worth it, and we had a lovely visit from my wife’s cousin’s family on Saturday morning, and then in the afternoon we went up to Baltimore and embarked on an evening of grand amusement (the O’s won, we ate ballpark food and drank beer and stayed up very late and were quite pampered by our B&B accommodations for about nine hours before heading home on Sunday morning).

To be fair and honest, though, all of the above is more or less within the sphere of my home life, and in case I haven’t made it abundantly clear lately, I do tend to compose my blog posts almost exclusively in the office during business hours. So however swamped I may be with deck repairs or toy sorting or middle-of-the-night tantrums or filing car insurance claims &c. &c. &c., technically none of that could ever make me too busy to blog (unless I took a personal day off from work in order to hold a torch to a few neck stumps on the housework hydra, which is exactly what happened last Tuesday, but granted that’s only one day). And yet wherever or however the hours of my day may be allocated, my moods certainly can carry over from domicile to day job, and leave me a little too sapped to scrape together a post.

Not to mention (since it is Monday, and I might as well stick with the formula as I attempt to get this week on track) that work itself has not been a bastion of … anything, really, these past few weeks. The USG has at least finally gotten around to releasing the RFP that we will need to submit a proposal bid for, and all proposals are due October 15th, so that is in the works. I believe they’re supposed to review all proposals and make a decision within 30 days, so November 14th or so, but given how every other deadline in this process has been slippery at best, I take that as more of a suggestion for where to center a window of reasonable expectation.

The unmarked clock is ticking!

I have tried not to eavesdrop too much on my co-workers as they talk about the recompete process, but I can’t help but hear a bit of it, and none of it has been good. People are less confident or optimistic or whathaveyou about this go-round than they have been in the past. Not that that means anything, or affects the outcome in the slightest, but it’s just not the most awesome vibe to be around.

Meanwhile, our six-month bridge contract is about to start in a week or so, and last week I spent a fair amount of time getting my work-related paraphernalia sorted out: a new access card for the computer network, a new building pass badge, because as soon as the old contract is up my old tokens and totems would be invalid, and the new contract requires new ones, new ones which will only at most be good for six more months, and then they’ll have to be replaced yet again because the new, real, multi-year contract will require magic slabs of plastic specifically associated with it. And that’s the best-case scenario, of course, because it’s possible that in six months (or less) I might find myself looking for a new gig rather than looking for signatures on badge paperwork, if we don’t win the recompete.

So all of the above is a bit demoralizing, I admit, but at the same time it is what it is. I got good and grumpy about it last week but it’s time to move on. It’s just about my favorite time of the year and I’m not going to let a silly thing like my job drag me down. Time to get back into the groove.

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