My Family and Other Disasters

I had an argument today with my mother. She decided to use one of my shirts as a blanket for our dog. This wasn’t the first time she had done this, so I got really mad and started shouting at her. She tried to lie that “she had bought that shirt” which got me even madder and when my sister heard (as the one currently bringing the money in the family she was now viewed as the authoritative figure) she went out of the bathroom to join in the argument as my mother’s defense. Her first argument was “when are you going to find a job”, which of course didn’t have anything to do with the right of my mom to use my clothes as anything she can think of. Of course, my sister wanted to instill some shame in me for shouting at my mother – she went on how “you don’t have a job, and you’re 30 and still live with your mom (I’m 27), and you haven’t worked a day in your life”, and so on. I didn’t work much when I was studying but I still got at least a day…

She said she couldn’t sleep because she was making ends meet for all of us but when I tried to give her some money (I didn’t have much) she said I was “a joke”. I tried to reason with her as to what my appropriate behavior would be (for her) but all she gave me were arguments that sounded like whatever ever, EVER I do it will never be enough and I will forever be in her debt.

I’m currently unemployed but I was happy with my life up until that moment because despite dropping out of my old university I managed to find a better education and better prospects for the future. Now I’m studying to become a software engineer and don’t have much time to even start looking for a full-time job but I feel satisfied by what I’m doing even as others are trying to take it from me, the satisfaction I mean. My sister didn’t much care that my future was looking better than ever and I finally had the chance to become a fully functional human being because she couldn’t either see or feel that change ( especially in terms of money), so she said I was “arrogant” for complaining about anything that was happening in the family (good or bad),

becase “some people don’t have where to live or what to eat”. Just because you have a life that is better than the life of other people doesn’t mean you can’t try to make it even better. Maybe it’s better or the same to have nowhere to live and to have your family try to fill you with negativity almost every day.

And yet if my sister had told my mother that it’s not good to dispose so lightly of other people’s stuff the first time she knew of it, I wouldn’t be shouting at hundredth.

Trying to fix one mistake by making another is never a good practice and by joining in the argument in that particular and negative way she made things at least for me much worse because now I realize that it doesn’t much matter what I do.

Still, it’s always better for other people if you keep quiet about their mistakes but not objectively the right thing to do.

Right now I feel like I have to disconnect from my family in order to feel safe and happy.

Why I think my supervisor at the university was an idiot.

My supervisor at the university was a person with the professionalism of a sack of potatoes and the integrity of a mildly warm air-balloon. This may sound very subjective, so through the rest of this article I’m going to try backing this up by some objective facts.

At first I though my supervisor was an Okay Guy or at least the best of the worst, which for Bulgaria didn’t mean a whole lot, to think about it. With time his behaviour became more and more fishy to me, especially after he snapped back at me during a lecture “for changing the slides of a presentation too quickly”. At the time I didn’t fully realise that a teacher at a university shouldn’t be (and didn’t have the right to) be aggressive towards his students for neither subjective nor objective reasons. Naturally, I felt that my behaviour was to blame and tried to be a better student – I stopped interrupting my teachers at the university and tried to listen to their speeches as best as I could (even when a teacher was 100% wrong I didn’t correct him because probably subconsciously I knew what would ensue). Still, my teachers didn’t seem to notice me trying to be a better student and found smaller and smaller things to be mad about as if the very thing of me being there enraged them. Of course, with that stereotype in their heads they had to set on the search of reaffirming it, I just never thought someone’s thinking could be so simple and self-centered. There was that time I tried to correct my supervisor in a very calm (and non-interruptive) manner and he started almost shouting at me – that’s when I knew his ego was more important than any objective truth. I had earlier found out that he had made a female student cry during an exam – this girl was composed and intelligent and I wondered what had made her cry, only later I connected the dots. I think my supervisor despised the very thought of someone of lower academic status being smarter than him, so just like Pavlov’s dog every time the cue appeared, he reacted. He even tried to rationalize his behaviour ones which made it even worse – you don’t rationalize for making someone feel bad (which was clear), instead, you apologize and promise that you’ll at least try not to repeat the same mistake again. This very fact reminded me of how drug addicts try to rationalize their behavior and claim that drugs could be beneficial not only to them but to others as well. I think it’s a safe bet to say he got off from it in some very primal way (again, just like Pavlov’s dog).

Not being aware of a teacher’s actual responsibilities and trying to force respect into his students weren’t my supervisor’s only problems. The material he taught us on his specialty – the Late Iron Age was O.K. but just about everything else was hugely outdated and even at times contradicted the archaeological findings of late. The thing that bothered me the most was how he would start explaining a concept like evolution, or C-14 dating but the very way he explained them suggested that he doesn’t  understand the fundamental principals that underlie them. At this point misinterpreting something and straight out lying to your students come very close. It now seems to me that this misinterpretation transcended academics and affected how viewed others in respect to himself, meaning he didn’t have even a remotely realistic view of himself and when you don’t have that your view of everyone else will obviously be unrealistic (in respect to philosophy I mean a subjectivism that is beyond any social norm).

Some of the events that transpired on the excavations of Bresto also could be seen as reaffirming to my central thesis. I never taught he was a person who lies about having personal reasons to hire someone or give someone benefits  but when asked why he paid the two female restaurateurs at our site (and, of course, no one else) he came up with the very illogical reason that “they already had their MA’s”. From a managerial and professional point of view this was a very bad choice since the archaeological students at the site were busting their asses for the better part of each day while the restaurateurs occupied most of their time with recreational drawing and fooling around. It later turned out (I suspect some of my colleagues already knew but didn’t want to tell me because they already knew my view of “organisational” decisions) that one of the girls was the daughter of a famous archaeologist and a close friend to my supervisor – of course, the other girl was her best friend. Ah, and all shall be revealed, they say. Later on I got into an argument with two of the foreign students on the excavations – just for the record, from what I’ve learned foreign students for the teachers at my university mean connections and money while the native ones are viewed as a source of constant annoyance. My supervisor approached me with intent to resolve (for a lack of a better word) the nascent conflict. This conflict is now long gone but made an impression on me was our “conversation”. He made a very long speech on personal flaws without asking me any questions on the actual matter at hand and concluded that “I know how you are Martin, and since I know how you are, it must be your fault”, and if I want to keep my position at the excavations, and so on, and so forth. I think if a person opens a book on interpersonal communications the first two things it will say are that nobody likes long lectures, and you should ask questions. I don’t know where my supervisor got his psychic powers from but they certainly weren’t professional.

Nevertheless, I’m glad I wasted my time on the New Bulgarian University because I gained a much clearer understanding of how decisions could be made (but shouldn’t) on the basis of one’s own prejudices and vices without the actual regard of the people around him. It further acknowledged the notion that I’ve always had (or tried to, at least) that a person should never be planning his actions purely out of self-interest,

especially in the Information Age.

 

The difference between Bulgaria and other countries

The difference between Bulgaria and other countries is a very simple and yet a fundamental one. While some countries actually try to make the lives of their citizens easier by legislating laws that promote equality and freedom of speech, Bulgarian politicians try to legislate nonsense laws that will ensure higher taxation on the people that have less money to support themselves. They do this in order to pay off the national debts caused by the very own politician’s moronic rulership. So a closed circle emerges – the less intelligent “the ruling class” gets, the more people will be taxed on it. I think there should be a “country governed by idiots” prize for every middle-class or lower class citizen of that country, so he or she could manage the recklessness of the people above him.

Climbing The Wall

Climbing a wall is an objective reality – either you climb the wall or you don’t, it all comes to your personal abilities.  This wall is made of little steps, each one is easy to make but you can’t climb the wall all at once from the first time.

In essence, a person has to be that wall for others. You have to guide them through each individual step so that in the end he will be satisfied with what he has achieved. You don’t have to be the one who pushes him up or drags him down, you just have to be the wall. Being the wall is not easy – you have to be there when the person needs to take another step, every time.

To be the wall is a selfish act, you have to realize that you’re not doing this to become the greatest wall that has ever lived but to be the thing that has made someone come out of the other side. You must be that person for as many people as you can and with time maybe you’ll also acquire a different life perspective. Then being the wall will be the most natural thing for you. When other want to be like you, you’ll have to teach them about the little steps that have to be taken and thought to be the wall.

At the end, it maybe so that nobody remembers you but you’ll remember every person that you’ve been there

What I learned from my university

When I was studying at the university I didn’t learn a whole lot about how a person is supposed to do his job as much as how a person shouldn’t be doing his job. Here are some of the things I learned:

  1. What’s in your interest is not always the right thing to do. Always try to do the right thing not only by yourself but to other people as well. Sometimes people delude themselves into thinking that what’s best for them is best for other people as well. This can also apply to a whole group which expects you to do right by them without even considering your wellbeing. Groups of people could also be greedy and selfish.
  2. Segregation, esoteric knowledge, and double standards are never a good idea when your job is to teach young people how to do their job or how to be better at it. Still, some teachers don’t even realise what are the real goals of education and personal growth.
  3. Don’t expect to learn how to do your job professionally  from someone who doesn’t know how to his own.
  4. Don’t rely on people who don’t deliver on their promises. “The cat ate my homework” excuses are pretty easy to discern, so be on the lookout for them.
  5. Refuse to participate in elections or decisions that don’t inform the whole student body (very often they will include a select group of “chosen, god-given talents” individuals not excluding distant and not so distant relatives).
  6. Don’t accept excuses about why someone isn’t doing his job properly when it’s clear how things should be done. Don’t let unprofessional behaviour become normalized. Some people spend so much time pretending to do their job they forget how real work is supposed to be carried out.
  7. Always be positive about work and the people around you but differentiate that and looking through rose-coloured glasses. Problems will always appear and a person has to take active participation in the solving of these, so that they can be resolved. Just because a problem isn’t real for you that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Be mindful of other people’s problems and situation and try to do your best to help them. Also be careful of toxic people (believe me they’re real) and people who try to make you a part of a dysfunctional or abusive relationship. These people usually have their heads so far their a**es there’s really no reason why you should engage with them, let the professionals do their work.
  8. Beware of who carry what I call “the judge” stereotype. These people usually have a higher opinion about themselves and a lower opinion about pretty much everyone else who doesn’t acknowledge it. Their very philosophy gets in the way (sometimes very drastically) of them having a realistic perception of themselves and others.  They rarely ackowledge other people’s succsess but tend to amplify their own. These people never  accept criticsm even if it’s delivered in the most professional way. They will often be people of higher academic status (not real “status” but whatever) or who think that they  have some advantage over you. As “judges” they can do just that and anyone tries to correct it them (even slightly) is most likely to e ignored, or even worse become an outcast and which will exclude him from the next “secret meeting” of the “higher intellect”. Folks like that carry the attitude that you have no right to be complaining about antyhing as long as they’re O.K., even if they’re not doing their job correctly. Sometimes your job will be to complain about things in order for them get better about everybody. If your reasonable complaints are not met with reasonable actions, move on.
  9. Social engineering and slyness can’t and shouldn’t substitute reason, intellect and common sense. In Bulgaria “slyness” is often used by people who’re are too lazy and hypocritical to realise how paradoxical it looks from above. Social engineering can never be a substitute for real intellect nad hard work. Be careful if people who carry that philosophy around because when it comes to getting the job done these people never work. If you see people like this be proactive in getting them out of your team or your life.
  10. If you strive to do your job in a proactive manner, work hard and be mindful of other people’s opinions (take action not just when it suits you to do so) people will respect you and complaints should be rare. Yet, if there are,  consider first if there’s something in your working philosophy which may be off track and then everything else. Don’t consider something as the right thing to do just because you’ve been doing it for so long you rarely think about why you do it. Sometimes inertia can get in your way.
  11. Just because someone says “this is the way we do things here” doesn’t mean you should accept what’s dealt to you or let their unprofessional behaviour become normalized. (I’ve also heard excuses like the business environment, the resources the institution has, or the socio-economic state of the country – people can come up with all kinds crazy excuses about why they shouldn’t try hard at their job.)

Crazy Botch

Crazy Botch was the only girlfriend I had from the university (yeah, you know what follows). She was studying  Arabic or something of the sort. We met on an excursion to Greece organized from the university where Crazy Botch started exchanging glances with me. It later turned out that she only did so after consulting with her female friend that found me quite charming (so modest, I know).

Her father worked “security” and for those of you which don’t know what this means in Bulgaria, it means pretty much the same as archaeology – something very shady. I was even warned that I shouldn’t tell anyone about her father’s meeting with the other people from his “security” firm. Anyway, I’m not here to write about that, Crazy Botch was a handful in itself.

I was very motivated to have a proper relationship with Crazy Botch for some altruistic reason but with time I started to feel that something about her was a little bit off. She would often fall into fits of rage because I’ve made some stupid (but obvious) joke but even more often for no reason at all (sounds familiar?). There was this time when we went to the mall to have a snack or something and I tried to kiss her – she pushed me back and the second time I tried to get closer for a kiss she said “fuck off”, got really angry and made to leave. I was said to see her go for the softhearted jello I was and just stood there wondering. I was at the same place when she got back and said, “Let’s go”. Just before we got to her place she said “Please don’t tell Mommy and Daddy that I acted this way, and acted as if nothing had happened for the rest of the evening.

The was some kinky stuff with her and at times,  she even seemed to like it and yet there seemed to be times where she seemed to be disgusted with it. I think the strangest thing was when I found that she had put me on speaker while we were talking on the phone. I think she was trying to prove to her parents how disgusting and perverted I was. I think she kind of got off from it. I’ve heard her speak similar stuff about her best friend (yeah, the one who originally “liked me”) with whom she has been for most of her life.

The difference between her behaviour when we were alone and when she was with her parents (also the fact that she was constantly comparig herself with other people while doing nothing{a.k.a the best way to never be wrong}) led me to the conclusion that I should get out as fast as possible, so one morning when she made a very nasty remark while we were lying in bed in the apartment of her parents I decided that I can’t and shouldn’t take it anymore, put on my clothes and left in a hurry. I could tell just from the look in her mother’s eyes that she was very offended by the way that I was leaving.

I didn’t want to answer her calls from that moring on but she didn’t seem to get the hint. First there were the dissapointed texts, then the apologetic ones. In the end there were the threaths and “what would happen if she had contracted some STD from me”. I think she was under the impression that I was so much in love with hear that I wouldn’t pick up the phone in fear of her breaking up with me (don’t look at me, that’s just the general impression I got from that person, to be clear – a very deep narcissim).

I saw her friend a couple of times in the university after that and she seemed to have a strengthened interest in me. I think Crazy Botch told her of the kinky stuff “I made her” do and and she found them to her liking. It’s sad that at that time I already considered them as one organism. She tried to approach me a couple of times but I played the dead  squirrell until I didn’t see them anymore.

2015 – the worst year of my life?

So, what made 2015 so special?

There was that time at the beginning of the year where my dog almost died and I had to carry it up and down the stairs on my hands just to take her out to pee (wasn’t the elevator working?).

At the same time there was the possibility of my sister being sewed about something she had no part of but in the end she wasn’t.

My dad had to be admitted to a psychiatric clinic again but after he started taking medications everything got better for awhile.

Later in the year while I was away it turned out that our dog had to be put down because she was too old. On the day after my dog got put down my grandmother died.

At that point I went back home. I wasn’t feeling much, just a hint of something like a very deep emptiness at the very bottom of which there maybe was sadness. But I never got to that bottom, I only floated on the surface.

Not much happened that year.