For a number of reasons, today has been suboptimal

Today, in order, I finally crashed, nearly did something really stupid, and left the support group that has been holding me up for the last few months. I’m in freefall. This is not going to be fun.

The story starts with the bits that most of you know, I’ve been the “Person who knows about computers” in every academic and social group I’ve been in since I was ten. I have over 10 years experience of helping people fix computers and make them work, from MS-DOS right though to Windows 2000, From Acorns to Linux, and from C=64 to Amiga 4000. I drifted though the .uk academic system, and been thrown into the real world where I discovered something:

I’m not really very good at anything.

I can write HTML, but not well enough to be employed as a webmaster/designer. I can program, but not enough to be employed as that either. I have too short a temper to work on hell-desk, not the breadth of experience to work as a Sysadmin. I’m not good enough at writing essays to be an academic (or even enough to pass a degree in a subject I can do in my sleep). In fact, for every skill I have ever thought I possess, I can think of at least two people who can do it better than I can, and are unable to find a job doing it, so what hope in hell do I have?

That is part one. Part two is selfish, and I know it’s selfish, but this is my diary and so I’m going to do it anyway. If you don’t like it, go to Freeopendiary and watch hordes of sappy teenagers whine about their lack of a significant other. That isn’t fair either, I realise.

I’ve run out of things I’m doing on my own.

There is a pattern, and I’ve watched it happen so many times it’s not fair. I’ve introduced someone to something, and then they’ve looked at it, gone “oooh, cool” and then excelled my abilities in the subject to the point where they leave me crying in the dust. So I have nothing that I can do that someone else in my circle of friends couldn’t do better and quicker. I feel useless.

And if I try to fix this like, for example, trying something new. I’ll mention it, and someone will say “Oh, I know how to do that” and the whole point is defeated. Again.

At this point on the train of thought I stopped searching the job-sites. Every day, gojobsite email me 300+ jobs based on the criteria I gave them. Every day I am qualified (If I cross my eyes and ignore some of the more vital requirements) to do about four, and every day I apply for about 10. Of those, four of the 10 will result in “This position has already been filled”, one in thirty will get a reply (…all of which will be mismatches, such as “Oh, you aren’t in Oxford then”, “I thought you were in Dublin” or “You’re fairly young for a Cobal programmer…” for example…). This wasn’t helping. So I started to pay attention to #afp, where I spend most of the day. After a while discussion flowed into the direction of email addresses, down though names, and onto middle names. I mentioned I didn’t have one, and Stuff Happened. I attempted to change the subject, I deliberately didn’t respond ton *any* of it. If there is one single place where I will suffer a catastrophic sense of humour failure, it is the topic of Real Names, and the fucking about therewith. Some people on that channel are either aware of this, or should be. Either way I finally quit before I did something stupid, like op myself and ban everyone from the channel. Yes, the thought crossed my mind.

So I spent the rest of the day playing Baldur’s Gate and wondering what I was going to do. So I made a decision, and I unsubscribed from AFP. This is not a decision I made lightly, but it’s been getting less and less of somewhere that I can be without screaming at the screen. Steve Hurley’s posts sort of clinched it. I’m going. I may be some time. It’s time to get my life back in order, so I’m banning myself from #afp also. I may be on, but not nearly so much as I used to be.

Need space. Need time. Need to do something. Need to recover.