Tag Archives: email

Origins #24

25 May

At the end of the last post I was lamenting the fact that I’d sent Rene an email after getting a bit sentimental at my final ever Powderfinger show. I had a proper self-cringe going imagining just how lame and embarrassing that email must have been.

Well, I got a little curious if I still had access to that email and it turns out I found it! Here’s what I actually sent:

I think I’ve finally gotten to my point:  I want to know who you are without all the walls. I’m not in a rush. I’m not expecting anything. I’m not looking ahead. I’m looking at some free time I have on Sunday and thinking I’d enjoy that time more if I spent it with you, regardless of what we call that.

You don’t need to reply. I don’t expect you to change your mind and I’ll leave it be from here on out. I just had to say this. Don’t even know why.

Yep, still cringe worthy but not nearly as ridiculous as I would have thought.

notentirelyunpleasant.gif

Considering the mental state I was in at that point in time, I almost give myself a pass. I wouldn’t have normally sent anything, but I wouldn’t normally have been in that situation to begin with.

I think most people would be stressed out enough with what happened with Rene, let alone with all the other shit I was already dealing with. Anyway, on with the story.

A new day cometh

I woke up the next morning and immediately knew it had been a bad decision to send that email. I also knew it was a fat lot of good coming to that conclusion after having sent it.

I avoided checking my emails for the majority of the day but I knew I’d eventually have to face the fallout, and finally checked my emails. There was a reply from Rene.

Fuck.

I didn’t want her to reply. I just wanted to tell her where my head was at. I was worried about making any missteps because I was worried about getting fired as a result, and I was  concerned that this might have been that misstep.

gulp.gif

Scared or not, I had to read her response. It read:

Of course I have to reply, and thank you for what you said.

The truth is I haven’t changed my mind. I know you’re not thinking beyond the present and have no expectations etc, but it’s never as simple as that – and I know myself too. That sounds so ambiguous and probably like a cop out, but it’s true and please just understand that.

I hope things are still cool.

I guess you can read things different ways depending on your state of mind but to me that was a fairly assertive, “It’s not gonna happen. Don’t bring this up again.

nonono

But what was that “ambiguous cop out” bit about? That thing about “I know myself” was  a head-scratcher too. It struck me that Rene was very clearly avoiding explaining anything and just wanted me to leave it alone.

At that time I was equally interested in understanding why Rene had made such a quick about-face as I was in trying to get her to spend time with me and I had lost out on both of points with that response. What she had said only brought up more questions and further emphasized that, whatever the cause, we weren’t going to be getting together to discuss that, or anything else anytime soon.

Yeah umm, sorry.

Given what I perceived as a pretty sturdy and undeniable “Back off”, and the fact that I had been worried about losing my job before any of that chaos with Rene even started, I decided to retreat and try to figure everything out without Rene’s help.

When I say retreat, I mean it. I had already gone into almost complete submission mode when Rene had gotten all freaked out about our upcoming date and I intended to be as delicate as I could possibly be from here on out to make sure my job wasn’t further threatened.

runnn

I have to explain something. I’m not good at bowing to people. I’m not a tip-toeing sort of person. It goes against my nature. I’m direct. I deal with things head on wherever possible. I find it more uncomfortable to dance around an issue than to just tackle it head on. But what choice did I have?

I responded in the least confrontational way I could think of.

Yeah umm, sorry.
Everything’s cool. I Just had a common sense failure after powderfinger got me feeling all sentimental.
Hopefully you can forget that happened or at least put it down to the absinthe I’d been drinking.

Stiff upper lip and all that

I had gone out on a limb at Rene’s request. I had been vulnerable at her request. She had  rejected me after demanding I ask her out. She had provided little in the way of explanation. What little explanation there was had proved more confusing than no explanation at all. Plus, I was sworn to secrecy so I could only speak about it with Rene. Except she didn’t want to talk about it all, which meant I couldn’t talk about it with anyone.

Still, I was more worried about what was going on in Rene’s head than my own. She’d mentioned dealing with an extremely difficult situation that had left her “nothing left to give”. I wanted to help but it was very clear that I wasn’t welcome in any of whatever was going on on her side.

As for me, it’s funny, I’d had a crush on Rene before all this had happened, but I didn’t think about her unless we were in the same place at the same time. I hadn’t intended to try and make anything happen with her, yet suddenly, there I was doing things I wouldn’t normally do. Those emails were a prime example. I didn’t understand what was happening on her side, or mine.

I felt embarrassed, exposed, rejected, humiliated and a host of other feelings that I didn’t even recognize, and the only person I was allowed to speak with about the situation was  clearly unwilling to do so.

I was out of options. All I could do was try to process it alone. I told myself that if I could hold out for a while, Rene would calm down and we’d talk it out then.

determinedornot

…”Hang in there baby” You said it kitty. “Copyright 1968?” Hmm, determined or not, that cat must be long dead. That’s kind of a  downer…

 

I knew that would be exceedingly difficult but that was what I was facing, so I resigned myself to fate. Stiff upper lip and all that.

faceTheStorm.gif

 

Next time

I’ll tell you about when the levy broke.

Origins #23

23 May

After yet another awkward moment with my boss’s daughter I was trying to ignore the bombardment of mockery from my colleagues regarding the fact that she’d spent the night at my place. I’d made it through the day, despite the surprise meeting, and had escaped the office at last.

I spent the rest of that day trying to figure out how to deal with my very complex situation. I had found myself between the proverbial rock and hard place and there was no obvious way out. Rene had asked me to keep the situation secret, so I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, which meant I had to put up with all this teasing despite currently trying to deal with being rejected by a girl who had literally demanded that I ask her out.

I really needed to talk to someone about it. Like, realllllly needed to, but I’d agreed not to. So I stared holes in the walls and ceiling hunting for a way to not get too stressed out about it all. Even though I was confident I’d figure it out, there was still emotion to it.

The scenario had hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was hurting very, very badly but I don’t think I was capable of understanding just how deeply I’d been cut. All I knew at that point was I wanted the situation to change as soon as possible. I don’t remember that night especially well, but I’m sure I didn’t sleep a wink.

Another day, another billion jokes about fucking the boss’s daughter

I trudged off to work again. I’d been knackered the day before but I had gone another night without sleep, so I was completely annihilated. And the jokes came my way all day long.

I tried to politely deny their insinuations as they come in from my colleagues in my little room. I tried to dissuade their innuendos as they came from colleagues from other rooms around the building. I tried to calm the tide as they started coming in via email from our head office. I couldn’t keep up with them. They came in faster than I could read them.

It was not an easy day.

I wasn’t sure how to cope with it, and I wanted Rene to at least see what I was dealing with, so I collated a few of the more ‘entertaining’ emails and forwarded them to her. Rene replied that it looked like everyone was having fun and that she wished she could get in there and fire a few responses back.

But… Powderfinger!

If you recall from earlier, my favourite band were doing a farewell tour before retiring. I had tickets to their show that night. I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but there was no way in hell I’d miss that show.

Powderfinger always had the ability to articulate the world I’d been living in and convert what I’d been dealing with in my life into a form of music that resonated deeply in me.

I assume their music sounds dated to anyone listening for the first time so many year’s later, but they were hugely influential on me when I first heard them as a 16 year old kid in high school.

In a lot of ways Powderfinger played the role of providing a soundtrack to key events of my life. When I left school and started to work as a pizza delivery boy I would listen to Internationalist on loop for hours on end in my car. When I went back to study multimedia they’d be on high rotation on my clunky portable CD player and my very first mp3 player. They seemed to be at every major music festival so I’d often see them live and be ever amazed by their ability to grab a crowd by the ears and leave everyone smiling at the end.

I wasn’t alone in liking them. They were Australia’s biggest band for nearly a decade. They won all the awards an Aussie band can win and were heralded by critics and punters alike.

I was 31 at that point and I suppose their retirement shouldn’t have been as important to me as it was. Something I had always enjoyed was coming to an end. One more thing was being taken away from me. For reasons that I’ll explain a little later, I had always found those moments difficult.

Nevertheless, I could be sad about it later. I had one more chance to see them live with thousands of other die-hard fans, and that’s exactly what I was going to do.

Exhaustion? Bullshit! Grab us a drink

There was one solution for any and all problems where I grew up, and that was alcohol. I’d always thought that a very primitive approach to problem solving, but I was out of ideas and I wasn’t about to waste the last opportunity I had to see Powderfinger, so I met up with my friends for a drink before the show.

We found our way to some fancypants bar a very short walk from the venue and proceeded to do our very best impression of liquor consumption machines. It’s funny the way a quiet drink leads to a loud drink. In this case it lead us to the loudest of all drinks; a drink I had only recently become accustomed with in Europe… Absinthe.

Being a fancy pants bar, they not only had Absinthe, they did the whole ritual of  burning the sugar with the fancy spoon and everything.

 

You know there’s something wrong when the bar tender’s going to that level of complexity and all you’re thinking is “just get me the fucking alcohol, mate.”

A few more rounds (or ten) and it was time to go to the show! I might not have known exactly who or where I was but I was ready to have a good time.

HOLY SHIT. THEY’RE SINGING MY LIFE AT ME.

Powderfinger were known for writing songs that people related to. Even completely sober I related to those songs. Half full of absinthe, dealing with everything I was dealing with, the impact was amplified.

I mean, they started with this…

and then threw this in.

I’m sure you get the idea.

They played a bunch of brilliant songs. The crowd was loving it. The band was loving it, and letting us know it too. It was a big love-in. They even played that same stones track I’d heard them playing as I foolishly leaned in to try and kiss Rene only a few days prior.

It was as good a show as anyone could have asked for, and like many other things in my life at that point, it was coming to an end weather I liked it or not. The appropriateness of the moment was not missed by anyone as they finished a bittersweet night with thousands of people singing along to their most beloved, most bittersweet song.

And with that a present became past

The encore had been and gone. The second encore had been and gone. That was the last time I’ll ever feel the buzz of joy that always tingled its way through a packed crowd at a Powderfinger show.

It was over. The thousands of screaming fans begging for more couldn’t change that reality and eventually we rall ealised that and began the inch by inch shuffle to the exits.

I was forlorn. The nostalgia had drowned me. That moment in time summed up exactly how I was feeling about my life. Everything was on the verge of slipping away and there was nothing I could do about it.

What’s that you say, alcohol?

You think I should send Rene an email? Oh surely you jest, old friend. Now is hardly the time for such things!

Oh how I wish I had not listened to my old friend alcohol, but I didn’t recognise him hidden in that disguise as my new friend Absinthe. So after I got home from that very sentimental show, I sent Rene a very sentimental email.

I can assure you that if there is a way to convert a cringe directly into an email, I managed to do so that night. I don’t remember much of what I wrote, but I know it included the following concepts:

“You don’t need to reply to this.”

“I really don’t understand what happened.”

“I like you more when you let your guard down.”

“If you get your head around whatever you’re dealing with and want to hang out, I’ve got some free time Sunday”

Oh God, the shame! It’s so humiliating to think about the fact that I actually hit send on that. Fuck.

embarrased

Just one of many, many, many more cringey things to come though.

 

Next time…

Rene replies to the email she didn’t have to reply to and my sneaky little buddy Absinthe gives me a few days rest before he doing his level best to kill me.

Origins #22

17 Feb

Long time no origins speak, huh? If you have no idea what an Origins post is, check back to the previous one Origins #21, or try the Origins category for more details.

Anyway…

Despite waking up from an extremely confusing night with the boss’s daughter, which was supposed to help uncomplicate the fallout of the previous extremely confusing night with the boss’s daughter, but failed miserably to do so, I was somehow still feeling confident about my general situation.

A recap

To recap the situation I was somehow still feeling confident about:

maybe

I think that’s the guts of it up to this point.

Confident? WTF?

I don’t know. I don’t know why I was sure I could make it all work out fine, but I was.

I figured Rene would take a bit of time to chill out and when she had finally calmed down, we’d be able to talk it through properly, and if she was interested we could let things play out under the radar. If she was genuinely just not interested I figured she’d straight up say that and I’d just have to get over it. I’d had to deal with things like that enough times before that I knew it’d be fine.

I wasn’t too concerned about the fact that my software specialty, Flash was under attack. I thought Adobe would just start outputting to HTML5 and I’d be able to continue using the Flash IDE. If that sounds like rubbishy jargon talk, this is an attempt at a translation: I’ll keep designing buildings, the builders will just be using bricks instead of wood.

As for my new manager, he was incompetent and nobody who worked under him liked him. We’d all been there for years and he was terrible at his job, so I assumed it was only a matter of time until he was fired or, at the very least, taught how to do his job properly.

I wasn’t all that aware that I was on the verge of alcoholism at the time. I just thought I was letting off steam. I was aware it wasn’t the ideal behaviour but hey, I was dealing with a lot and I felt like it was reasonable to ease that with the odd drink(ing binge).

My boss, Tim Everlong was a good guy, he just didn’t realise that I had been trying to do right by his daughter. I understood his reaction but I was sure he’d see how respectfully I was treating her and recognise that I wasn’t using her for a night of bedtime antics while he was away, that I had been completely respectful of her and of him, and that I was still the good guy he’d known me to be before.

My car didn’t need heaps of work to get it back on the road and I had a friend who had been chomping at the bit to help me convert it into a faster, more fun car, so we’d get onto that and get her back on the road swiftly for sure!

So, really, what was there to worry about? Nothing! Right? …right?

No seriously, I was still confident things would work out

I get that it sounds ridiculous, but I had always tended towards being a confident person.

It’s not like I don’t get scared or that I don’t have insecurities, of course I do, but I’d proven to myself time and time again that I can resolve complicated and difficult situations. I’d learned that the trick was to talk the problems out with whoever was involved, figure out a way to resolve the situation, and bam! problem solved! No awkwardness, no drama, no confusion. Easy peasy!

confident

Another thing on my side with remaining confident was the fact that I always had this little fire inside me that says “It’ll be alright”, and up until this point, that little fire had always been right, so why would I doubt it now?

Enough catch-up, on with the story

I arrived at my place of work, Everlong, ready to face the day. I always got in early. I was usually the first one in so I’d use my key to open up, turn off the alarm and that’s exactly what happened this particular day.

My primary objective was to load up on caffeine to help overcome my lack of sleep, because I knew it was gonna be a long day. I grabbed my daily coke zero from the vending machine (because y’know, it’s got no sugar, so it’s totally healthy) and periodically poured its blackish goop into my face as the morning crawled onward.

Colleagues arrived at the office one by one. The office slowly filled with people. They hadn’t forgotten that Rene had spent the night at my place less than a week ago, and were relishing the opportunity to fire jokes about that at every opportunity, but none of them knew what I was really going through and I’d been sworn to secrecy so I couldn’t tell them anything.

No one had the slightest clue that I was currently trying to will my exhausted body and mind through another day of work after having spent the night alone with Rene again, this time to try make some sense out of what had happened between us and what that meant for the future.

Time for that meeting you didn’t know you were attending

It must have been around a five to nine when someone asked if I had everything I needed for the 9 O’clock meeting. The meeting was news to me.

what

I checked my calendar and saw no meetings listed. I asked around to make sure I was supposed to be going. Everyone agreed I was required, so I asked what it was about.

We were meeting with a local organisation that helps young men in need. Funny, I thought to myself, Rene’s been working with that organisation lately. My heart pounded until I realised Rene would have mentioned that she’d be coming in. No big deal then, I just had to get through a random meeting with no idea what it was for, what my role was, or with whom I’d specifically be meeting. Nothing new. Off we go.

Dun dun dunnnn

Someone said “Quick, they’re here”, so I jumped up from my desk, grabbed my notepad and pen and started walking to the office door being held open for me by my colleague. Having grabbed my stuff  in a hurry, I’d been clumsy and didn’t have a good grip. The pen had somehow ended up sitting between my right middle and ring fingers and the tip was pushing into my palm. I was trying to sort that out when I looked up to see… RENE! dunn dunn dunnnnn!!!!!

dun dun dun

I was really surprised. I guess I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. So there I was with my pen folded into my palm, my big notebook in my left hand making it useless to help untangle the other, and my boss’s daughter staring at me as I came through the office door.

No doubt I looked very surprised. My colleague noticed and thought it would be funny to pretend to introduce me to Rene. How fucking hilarious. huh

Rene played along and put her hand out for a handshake. Trying to avoid the awkwardness of explaining that my pen was lodged in my hand, I pushed my hand forward and gripped Rene’s fingers with my fingertips in an impressively awkward effort and somehow managed to drive the tip of my pen through the skin of my palm. Rene looked at me quizzically as I flinched. I mumbled the phrase “Nice to meet you” through gritted teeth and we wandered into the meeting room.

The meeting

I couldn’t tell you a single thing about what that meeting was about. A website, maybe? I spent the entire time trying not to let on that I was feeling super awkward. I wanted to look at Rene, but I didn’t want to look at her. I didn’t want to ignore her either, but I didn’t want to direct all my conversation towards her. I wanted everything to be fine, and for the meeting to end as soon as possible. I swear it lasted a month.

I’d catch Rene looking at me when we were all supposed to be looking at the projection screen, only for her to look away as soon as noticed. Then I’d be looking at her trying to figure out if she had actually been looking at me, and then she’d look up and I’d instinctively look away. I tried to act super relaxed, putting my hands behind my head and leaning back. Rene leaned her head on her hand in a “I’m totally relaxed about this situation too” maneuver. It was  ridiculous. We were in some shitty sit-com playing out all the hacky tropes of an awkward encounter.

Rene’s colleague apologized that he had to leave early. That left Rene, my colleague, and me. Rene and I started cracking little smiles at each other and my colleague yammered on, completely unaware of the weird little scene he was taking part in. My colleague eventually ran out of things to say and got up to leave.

I don’t remember exactly how Rene and I finished up that little surprise interaction but I do remember calling her out on not mentioning that she’d be at my office that day. “I thought it was next week”, she laughed.

After the meeting

People had already been giving me shit about Rene having spent the night at my place, but this new encounter had sparked everyone’s creative comedic juices and I had a slew of new emails full of mockery when I got back to my desk. Yay. Smile and nod.

rolly

At least the emails were silent and ignorable, unlike the generous helping of cheeky remarks thrown my way. You’d have thought it was a competition the way everyone was carrying on.

And yet, still confident

Even with all that silliness going on, the surprise meeting, everyone making jokes around the office, and everything else I was dealing with, I was still confident it would work out. I was in the right. I’d done the right thing the whole way through, so I was sure that “She’ll be right”, as we say in Australia.

 

Next time

The awkwardness is only just beginning. Come back and revel as I squirm at the hands of crazy bitches and massive douches.

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