Day 6: Ground Control to Major Blob

Commencing Countdown, Engines On.

Man, I really got revved up a week ago on the day I put in my two-week notice of resignation. It felt like such a turning point and yet was utterly without finality. It was as if I flipped the big red toggle switch, and, before my index finger could even recoil, there was a so-deep-it-was-almost-ribonucleic shuttering of something starting up.

Astronaut in the Cockpit
Jacked From:

I felt like people at work knew I was leaving even before I’d told anyone. I though I heard whispers and perceived sidelong glances. The genetic makeup of the office appeared to be denaturing before my very eyes. In the way a skin cancer to terribly evolves from a fun-filled sunny summer Saturday, so I felt my place in the office morphing from a button-cute freckle (just the position, not me per se) to a horrible black-centered irregular-edged mole.

10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . 7 . . . 6

Soon a profound fog of exhaust engulfed everything that had been around and below, and – ever so slightly – liftoff began. I was no longer tethered firmly to my regular workload, but began tottering clumsily upward toward the wonderfully expansive unknown from the dutifully restrictive launching pad.

Space shuttle liftoff from the Kennedy Space C...
Image by State Library and Archives of Florida via Flickr

My projects have fallen away like so many houses and counties and countries and continents as I press ever upward, breaching the stifling stratosphere of this tine plane with but only one sun around which to orbit and but one moon beneath which to spin. This planet of limits and ruins and poisonous ego-centric policies drifts down and down, but not away.

This is Ground Control to Major Blob

I’ve really made the grade. And my projects all are planned and passed with care. Now a fourteen-hour meeting if you da-aaa-are. Ground Control calls a meeting. Ground Control requests a Project List submission. Ground Control loses submitted Project List. Ground Control dodges meeting while continually requesting it.

NASA Ground Control
Jacked From:

There are meetings at this old job. They are not daily, or weekly, or even monthly. They are only on the whim of a person who makes no preparation and who is expected to make no contribution. They are mandatory, they are menacing, and they are merciless. The mother of all meetings is the Last Project Meeting. The fantasy of every last disgruntled employee, the Last Project Meeting is less like Jim Breuer in Half Baked (tortured screams of “You suck! You suck! You’re cool. You suck!“), and more like Mel Gibson at the end of Braveheart (tortured screams of “Freeeeedoooooom!“)

This is Major Blob to Ground Control

I accept that there are meetings (begrudgingly). I even accept that there are Project List Meetings (barely). Even though the idea of a meeting sort of conjures up images of minds meeting and collective collaboration, and even though these particular meetings suck the very minds from any melding or collaboration – I accept them. What I cannot accept is the slippery mercurian slippage of roles from being invited to the meeting to having to request the meeting myself. Why am I now the enforcer, when I don’t even want to be the enforcee? I’m not the one who needs this meeting: I know what the projects are, where the timeline stands, and who is taking over the work.

Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi waves during...
Image via Wikipedia

You want info, you come to me. Yeah. Right. Instead I’m stuck re-submitting the Project List every time a task gets moved a single inch because – obviously, – there’s no point in having a Project List Meeting if the Project List is even minutely out of date. I’m beyond herding cats, now. I’m trying to catch a fly in a windstorm. And the fly is gross. So gross I don’t even want to catch it. Yet I must.

For Here I am Sitting in My Tin Can

Haven’t you found this at work? That the harder you try to get something done the harder it is to do. It’s like that 5th grade science project that produces the odd putty that remains putty in a relaxed hand, but instantly dissolves to liquid mud in a clenched hand. The harder you try to hold it, the harder holding it becomes.


So here I am, sending communiques out into the void trying to set up this meeting. Static laced, white-noisy, dits and dots: “.– …. . -. / -.-. .- -. / .– . / — . . – ..–..” (When can we meet?”) And again. And again no answer. And again. And again no answer. And finally: “-.- .. .-.. .-.. / — .” (“Kill me!”)

Can you hear me, Ground Control?


Can you believe that anise the very minute I published this space-themed post, I turned on the news to see that the last planned NASA launch is happening this morning? I mean, yeah, I definitely planned it that way.

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