Strange Brouhaha

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Strange Reaction

I used to work for the Madison School District. It was a very stressful time; we were chronically understaffed and constantly behind, dealing with people who knew nothing about our field (par for the course in the computer biz) and who wanted everything done RIGHT THIS SECOND. When it was my turn to work the phone support line, it was a vision of hell--four straight hours of ringing telephones and voicemail messages. It made my phone phobia worse.

It was also cool, at least for a little while, because at one point we had a solid core of guys who knew their stuff. We knew each other's capabilities, strengths as well as weaknesses, and we were able to Get Things Done. That kind of teamwork was a major reason that I stayed as long as I did. It didn't last, of course. We had some of the best people in IT, but you can't keep them with stress levels the way they were; the great benefits package doesn't compensate for being overworked all the time. It didn't for me. I left for a lower-paying job, at least in terms of salary plus benefits. (And despite all the stress of the last few's still less stressful here.)

Anyway, all that background is there so I can talk about the reaction that writing about those days causes. On Slashdot the other day, there was a topic created by a Madison School District Micro Tech (one of the positions I held) who was asking how to go about getting grants for new equipment--it seems that what they have is sad and out of date. (I wonder if they're still using those Toshiba 486s that we got when they were new. Haha.) I made a couple of responses, and then noticed immediately that I was breathing shallowly, getting flushed, feeling very strange. The stress was bleeding through my skin. Even now, typing this, I feel horrible. It's like the stress doesn't leave. It's distracting.

It's like PTSD or something, I swear it.


  • (Matt) I hear you loud and clear. I worked Windows phone support for a year and modem/dialer phone support for six months after that. I would sooner be dipped in acid than do that ever again. I now hate to talk on the phone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:15 PM  

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