The Dumpster Fire

dumpster1This is a weird one to write. The Dumpster Fire has been a miserable experience but at the same time a positive experience. There are times when the experience felt like I was part of a bizarre psych experiment or starring in my own version of cheesy sitcom, possibly a comic opera, except there was no laugh track, a wacky sidekick, but on occasion, there was singing.

Us at Chipmunk are trapped in an impossible situation because our department is meant to fail so it can be shut down and moved to the Chipmunk Head Office In The Land of Cheap Acorns.

The strange part about this disappointing turn of events is that intellectual curiosity took me on a different path as I tried to understand the incompetence, secrecy and impulsive decision making that started the fire in the first place.

Because of the dumpster fire, I…

Picked up an accounting book at a thrift store for $ 2

I most likely will have to read it several times to get my head around all the concepts. Reading the accounting book was nowhere near as scary as I thought reading an accounting book would be. Like there would be monsters or snakes lurking among the pages, poised to attack me with a calculator and wonky Excel file? A little weird to be reading it for leisure, but you know, sorry not sorry. I wanted to understand if what I was experiencing was normal or abnormal. Spoiler: it’s abnormal.

Started learning more about finance

I don’t think I will finish this journey with a finance degree but I have learned a lot of about the business side of finance. I am pretty good with my money (I have to be, I work at Chipmunk) but now I understand how people shift money around in business. Some methods are ethical and some not so ethical. I also learned not to be afraid of credit. Credit can be a tool if you know what you are doing. I know what I am doing.

Spent more time with like minded people

I found myself in a community where I can learn new skills and leave the dumpster fire thinking behind me. It’s like I am having a shower and scrubbing the dysfunction away with a Loofah of New Ideas.

Conceded that people are out of touch

And sometimes it’s best not to explain why and how. I found myself over and over again explaining what I thought were simple concepts but grew more and more frustrated when people didn’t understand them. I thought I was failing because I could not articulate the ideas, but it was more a case of the people just not caring to understand. People are perfectly capable of understanding but choose not to because it’s easier. Speaking of easier…

courtAlways, as often as you can, put the ball in the other person’s court

Not always nice or moral but time and time again I have seen this tactic work. If you want something to go away, ignore it, and force the other person to react. Most of the time, the other person will not jump through hoops to get what they want.


It’s okay to feel pissed off

The positivity people always trying to force you to see everything as a learning experience and how to build skills and insights from the failure and get better and never have any emotions over the fact that Things Are On Fire! I concluded that I was pissed off at being in a situation where every single resource has been removed or downgraded and no sane person would not feel some sort of emotion. I often have to remind people that I am not a robot. 

Being wrong is not so terrible

I used to hate to be wrong so I would do all this research and planning and checking to make sure I wasn’t wrong. I always felt that I was wrong because I was not diligent in my research or wasn’t smart enough to figure out the problem or understand the situation. It felt like a moral failing to not understand. Now I know (slightly) better, no matter how hard you try, things don’t necessarily work out. The community of people I’ve joined are wrong all the time and they seem to function without scorn or shame.

Eventually the dumpster will burn down into a messy goo of metal and plastic and we will all move on but when that time comes, I will have a greater sense of what is and is not expected of me and what I expect of others. While being pissed off about a situation is okay, not having to experience it again, is better.

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