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Archive for January 2007

Avoiding Job Burnout

Posted on January 31, 2007 by under Life, School.    

Steve talked about job burnout at length in MIS class today. I can’t remember how he tied it into our current topic but he managed to bring it up. I think it was because we were talking about corporate structure and being a group of MBA students pretty much everyone’s goal is to reach the top of the hierarchy. He made the observation that what happens too often is that people end up burning out before getting there. I suspect that’s probably true.

Anyway, all throughout his ten minute tirade about avoiding burnout and not worrying about things that will eventually take care of themselves (which reminds me of something that Brian might say; along these lines, Brian has preached to me that I shouldn’t worry about things beyond my control many, many times) I felt like he was talking directly to me. How did he know that I was experiencing huge amounts of job stress? I know I’m pretty transparent but was it really that obvious? Of course, the world doesn’t revolve around me. I know it only seemed this way because work has been stressing me out a lot lately. Regardless of what the case may be, it got me thinking.

What is burnout exactly? Burnout is what happens when run yourself ragged at work. It’s when you have so much work to do and not enough time to recover. Some of the symptoms include but are not limited to taking your work home with you, taking your frustrations out on your partner, waking up in the middle of the night from work nightmare—which I’ve actually done. I had a dream that I didn’t get my time tickets done because I was stuck in an all-day training class that I could not get out of.. Weird, huh? Although, I’ve exhibited mild versions of some of the symptoms of burnout I refuse to think I am. Maybe I’m in denial but for the sake of this blog entry let’s agree that I’m not experiencing job burnout (not yet, anyway). So think of this post as some sort of preventative measure.

You can find out more about burnout here. It’s pretty informative. It gives helpful information about how to differentiate stress from burnout. Even though burnout and stress sometimes go hand-in-hand they’re not necessarily the same thing. Anyway, some of their ways of dealing with job burnout, like looking for a new job or requesting a transfer, may not be feasible for most people.

Mindtools has a special section on burnout. They have a burnout self-test as well as articles on how to avoid and recover from burnout. You can also check out these burnout busters from friedsocialworker.com.

One of the things commonly suggested to combat burnout is do something that you enjoy—get a fun hobby. Brian actually suggested that I start working out again. He said that I was a lot less stressed when I used to workout because I had an outlet for my stress and frustrations. I currently don’t have one so he thinks that I am bottling everything up inside me which is truly unhealthy.

Working out again might not be such a bad idea. I’ve actually been asked if I’m expecting twice now. That only tells me one thing. I have gained so much weight that I’m beginning to look pregnant. By resuming my gym membership I might just kill two birds. We haven’t decided to renew our membership yet. I’ll keep you posted.

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WOW, This Game is Addictive

Posted on January 29, 2007 by under Flickr, Games, Poker.    

Veramilla_Mage

Pun intended. He he.

I have been playing a lot of WOW lately. Brian started a blood elf mage who is a lot of fun to play. I’ve completed several quests on my own and I’ve actually gone on a couple of group quests. I never would have thought I could get into this game, but now that I’ve tried it I can understand why Brian is so hooked. If I didn’t have to go to school I could seriously see myself playing for hours at a time. For right now, though, I’m content sneaking in an hour of play every now and then. I don’t need my own account… Yet!

I’m still digging poker but I haven’t been doing as well. Although, not always placing as high doesn’t mean that your game is sliding. To be honest, I think I’m playing way better than I have ever played in the past. I’m learning to read my opponents better… Before I used to just play according to the cards I’m holding. Now I find myself taking advantage of my position, the situation, my opponents weak plays etc.

Playing really good poker isn’t always enough, though. Sometimes it takes luck. Case in point, my final hand at APL last friday. I called the blind with pocket 8s in the dealer position. One of the blinds (I can’t remember if he was small or big) raised. It wasn’t a big raise. It was a medium-sized raise. Calling the raise with only pocket 8s may have been somewhat of a loose call, but I figured I had position. So I thought that if I missed, I could bail. The raise wasn’t that big so—no harm, no foul. But if I hit, cha-ching! Right?

Anyway, the flop came 2, 4, 10 rainbow. My oponent raised to $1500 but I could tell from his mannerism that he was simply trying to buy the pot. I put him on two high cards, maybe ace-king, ace-queen, or ace-jack even. I could tell he missed but he was putting me to the test. So even though the plan was to bail if I missed, I felt that my 8s were good in this situation. I only had $2400 left so I re-raised him by going all-in.

He thought about it for a long time until he decided to call. Even though I had him, I think calling was the right decision because it was only $900 more to him. He had the opportunity to knock out a player and he had two overs—he was holding ace-jack.

Naturally, I turn an ace which resulted in my demise. So much for my impeccable read. The problem with this hand is that I didn’t have enough chips to push him out. I think if I had enough chips to threaten his tournament life then I think it might have made for a tougher decision to call. Then again, with such loose players at APL who’s to say he would not have called regardless.

At any rate, it helps to get lucky sometimes. No worries, though. I know that my game is improving. I’ll get him next time.

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Bebot in the Snow

Posted on January 17, 2007 by under Flickr.    

Bebot in the Snow

This is Bebot’s first winter so I figured that I would take a picture to commemorate it. This photo was actually taken on Sunday. I had to come in to work because we were gearing up for the storm. We thought we would need additional help so we planned ahead. I took the 8 am to 12 pm shift because the rest of my weekend had already been booked. It was nice that Brian offered to drive me. It was one less thing for me to worry about—specially since I’m not particularly fond of driving. I like this weather even less. And I downright hate driving in it.

Brian and I stopped at Krispy Kreme to get two dozen donuts. It was the least I could do for the overtime volunteers. I arrived at work by seven thirty. It was actually pretty slow. I wasn’t surprised because I had read the emails from the previous day. It was slow then, too. I really wasn’t looking forward to a repeat of the 2005 ice storm so it was such a relief that we didn’t experience massive outages. We actually had fewer outages than a typical weekend I think.

Brian came back to pick me up at noon. We braved the road conditions to drive to Philippine Grille. I was craving some sinigang na baboy. It is perfect for cold weather.

We had planned on staying out and just going straight to poker. However, we could not confirm that the Blue Collar Poker Tournament was not canceled so we decided to go home to check the Wichita Poker Review web site (it is the ultimate source of local poker info; where to play, what time, the best places to play, that sort of thing). The web site did not say that the tournament was canceled but the weather still had us concerned. We made a few phone calls. No one knew but the consensus was we’d all still planned on going.

Apparently, Brian and I aren’t the only two hardcore poker freaks in Wichita. The turnout was much smaller than usual but a lot larger than expected given the weather. Over 80 people came to play. A good thing for us because that means we have to battle fewer people for the prize.

I did pretty well, I think. I didn’t win any money, though. I finished 11th and only the top eight places pay. Disappointing but it gives me motivation for next time. If there is a next time. It will be challenging to squeeze in poker time considering that school has started again.

The good news is our friend April (Corey’s girlfriend) took third and won $70. I have to tell you about April and Corey. I have to wrap this up for now, though. I have to get ready for class. Until next time.

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Burning Crusade is here!

Posted on January 16, 2007 by under Games.    

For those of you that are not rolling in the cool crowd, “Burning Crusade” is the latest expansion for the World of Warcraft MMORPG. If you don’t know what an MMORPG is you should really stop reading now because it will only confuse you.

I have been looking forward to this expansion since I first started playing. I got hooked on WOW with a few people I work with. We started a small guild, then merged with a bigger one that eventually merged with a bigger guild that finally went tits up and disbanded and now we are back to the glorious Pwndock Saints. I finally got a character up to level 60 (at the time that was the highest you could go) and then started PVP-ing to get good gear and make my character more powerful. Now that the expansion is out I have to level another 10 levels to get to the cap and start the work over again to get my elite gear. I will be participating in Raids and other large group events to insure that I get a great selection of gear that will make my warlock a force to be reckoned with. I am actually looking forward to playing the game as once I reached the 60 level I was worried that I was going to get bored. So far they have made it to where you have so much to do that it is almost impossible to get bored. The game is designed to have no end. You simply grind out levels, if you have a character that has done everything and is the top of its class; you simply create another class of character and do something different. A lot of the quest and gear are specific to a particular class like Warlocks, Mages or Warriors.

It’s remarkable that there are over 8 million people playing this game all over the world. So far I have run into children as young as 10 years old playing this game and today when I picked up my copy there was a very large man that looked to be in his 40’s picking up his copy as well. I probably won’t get to 70 as fast as some of the other people in my guild. But that’s because I have a life! You know the kind of life that provides me with a wonderful wife that lets me indulge in this kind of activity as long as it doesn’t interfere with the real world and suck me in to the point that I am doing nothing but playing the game and not having stupendous, wonderful sex with her. Cause I know for a fact that some of the 8 MILLION other players are not getting laid (masturbation doesn’t count).

So now that I have left you with a wonderful image of a 40 year old fat man sitting at a home built computer with more processing power than the human brain and a 32 inch LCD screen with picture in picture (so they wont miss there episodes of South Park while playing wow) in a dark basement in his mothers home in nothing but a robe, a stained tank top, boxer shorts that say “Once you go Horde you never get Bored” and a pair of “Incredible Hulk” Slippers that have the Crunch sound destroyed by his fat fucking feet…..I think my work here is done.

Happy Gaming!!!

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The 2nd Shift Blues

Posted on January 15, 2007 by under Family, Life.    

Well, here I am! Working 2nd shift for the next 5 weeks. I only pray that its 5 weeks and not any longer. I have not had to work past 5pm in over 8 years. I can’t remember the last time I had to work a Saturday or Sunday. I was looking forward to working mornings because I get off work at 3pm and my wife doesn’t have to go to school till 7pm. This worked out really well cause I could get all the household chores done before 5 when my wife gets off work, then she would come home and we would get something to eat or I would have something ready for her to eat. Then since this semester all her classes start at 7pm, I looked forward to taking her to school and picking her up. Last semester she was so stressed because she had to leave work at 5 and try to make it to school by 5:30. It didn’t always work that way and it would stress her out to no end. This time I can take her so she doesn’t have to worry about finding a parking spot or walking a long distance or even being late for class. And I can be there for her in the event of bad weather, say if it rains, I would be bale to show up at her class with an umbrella ready and walk her from class to the car so she won’t have to worry about getting drenched. I know, all you old people are probably thinking “Man, what a sap”. But that’s not it! My wife and I have a very unique relationship. One that I wish the rest of the world could have. I think if everyone was like us we would have no divorce and you would find an increase in happy marriages. I truly believe us to be soul mates and the perfect couple. Some of the people we know say that we are strange because we don’t do anything apart. My wife and I think that everyone is strange because they don’t do anything together. We were just talking the other night and I told her that if she all the sudden said that she wanted to go have a night out with the girls; I would respect that and let her. However, since this is not the normal behavior she has exhibited in the last 7 years that we have been together, I would think that something was up. She agreed and said that the same would apply for me. I replied and told her that I would have to have friends that I wanted to hang out with first, I am kind of anti-social and although I have a few people I like as friends, they know me well enough that they never ask me out with them, and they know that if I ever go out I will always have my wife with me.

I really love my life! I never thought I would have a life like this. I have the perfect marriage and a great family. If you would have asked me 8 to 10 years ago if this was going to be possible, I would have given you a definitive NO! I saw myself being a single, lonely guy living in a small house or apartment and just having a cat to talk to. I can not tell you how relieved I am that my life did not turn out that way. I am so lucky to have met my wife. She is truly my savior and I could never in a million years ever repay her for that.

Baby, with all my heart and every fiber of my being! I want you to know that I love you and will always love you, in this life and the next!

Well there’s my first post of the year. I am sure that I will probably get flack from my friends about how much of a pussy I am and how corny and sappy my post was. But when you’re in love like I am. You just don’t care!

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