I lost my job a month ago and you know what’s odd? Instead of being sad about it, or worrying about the future, I feel great. I’m sleeping better, I am more relaxed, and I lost 5kg (11 lbs). Sure, that’s at least in part down to no longer drinking soda, but I think there is a reason why I managed to stop with the sugary stuff now, whereas I hadn’t been able to for years: I likely don’t feel the need to compensate for a job that was making me thoroughly unhappy. I can’t describe my last employer as anything but a bully or even downright abusive, and it was definitely making me unhappy and pushing me into depression.

I am the sort of person who puts up with a lot of nonsense and has a lot of endurance to see problems through. However, I have to admit that this is not a good strategy when it comes to your own life. If something makes you truly unhappy, you gotta get rid of it as quickly as you can.

Sure, sometimes you haven’t got any immediate choices and I don’t mean to encourage anybody to make snap decisions, but in hindsight, I should have left my last job years ago. I didn’t, and I paid the price in terms of a loss in quality of life.

It’s come to my attention – a while ago, actually – that I have a sugar addiction. I don’t mean this in a funny “haha I like to snack” sort of way, but in a rather serious way: It seems that whenever I buy my groceries, there is sugary food in it. I stopped buying candy, and what was the effect? I bought soft drinks instead.

It’s an interesting realization in that I had never been addicted to anything before – I do not smoke, and I only drink alcohol once in a while, and then very tame stuff (wine, mostly). I had always wondered why, for example, smoker don’t just put their foot down and say “enough” and just… stop.

I mean, I always understood it on an intellectual level, but I had no experience in how nasty your brain can be if it’s not on your side. In my case, I would just zone out and think of something else entirely and automatically grab a bag of candy off the shelf in the supermarket. Or, especially in the case of soft drinks, resort to excuses. “Eh, it’s just one bottle of Cola, no big deal.”

Except it is. There is a ton of sugar in your average softdrink. Sugar is not healthy. Certainly not at these amounts. And you gotta realize that I easily drank a liter of coke a day, maybe two on a bad day. I am frankly surprised I am not more bloated – or dead.

Sugar in Coca Cola, by Sugarstacks.com. CC-BY-ND-NC.

Sugar in Coca Cola, by Sugarstacks.com. CC-BY-ND-NC.

There’s good news, though. For a week, now, I have been off that stuff. And I have not compensated in other ways: No chocolate, no fruit gummy, no cookies, no ice cream. I have been drinking gallons of tea. The regular kind you make with bags and hot water. Without milk or sugar added, I should point out.

Wish me luck and stubbornness. I’ll report back in a month or so.


So. I was fired today.

Oh noes! What happened?

It has nothing to do with being a snitch; the stated reasons for the dismissal are pretty much made up. I have a lawyer on the case.

So, what’s your problem, Secretgeek, that you can’t keep a job?

Eh, I know exactly what my problem is. I am not good at putting up with incompetence, and I can’t not speak my mind when stuff is going wrong. Needless to say, when that incompetence runs your company, you don’t exactly endear yourself to your bosses.

…and now?

Well, how much are lottery tickets these days?

In all seriousness though, I am not really sad to leave that company. In a way, I probably needed the kick – I was putting up with too much nonsense out of sheer inertia. I had been trying to come up with a plan for the future for a while now, and I just never came up with a good alternative. Now I’ll have to apply for something more or less along the same lines – while I have money saved up it isn’t going to last forever.

In a twisted glass-is-half full way, though, that’s good, too – it means I will need this blog for the foreseeable future.

So – someone actually replied to a message I sent her. We exchanged a few messages, and while she seemed fairly convincing, I did some minor sleuthing and the preponderance of evidence indicates a Nigerian scammer.

I should perhaps just give in to irony and find myself a Nigerian girlfriend. You know, one that is actually female and lives in Germany.


I haven’t talked much about my family, but I just have to tell you guys about this. I just had a phone call:

Secret sister: “Hey Secretgeek!”

Secretgeek: “Yes sis?”

Secret sister: “Secret nephew told me today he wants to be ‘just like Uncle Secretgeek’ when he grows up.”

Secretgeek: “Oh?”

Secret sister: “Yeah. And he said he doesn’t just mean he wants to be as tall as you, but ‘exactly like cool uncle Secretgeek’.”

Isn’t that awesome? If you ignore, for a moment, that it’s a bit sad that he has recognized that his deadbeat father is not a suitable role model. (I could write a lot about that guy, and maybe some day I will.)

I’m frankly a bit surprised, and incredibly proud.

At the same time, I guess this means I now carry a big responsibility. If he really thinks I am a good example, it means I gotta live up to that expectation. Can’t disappoint my nephew, now can I?

I have a question.

Why are there female profiles with clearly male photos?

I don’t mean pre-op transvestites or other borderline cases, but profiles marked as “female” with absolutely normal, random, photos of guys. Pasty white guys in suits, mirror selfies of black guys, Middle Eastern Guys in sleeveless shirts, or other combinations thereof, I’ve seen them all.

I can’t imagine that people are really too stupid to select their correct gender in a form – or could they?

I usually report the profiles as “fake”, assuming they are generated by a scammer, but I do wonder.

I don’t post about politics, and I really should stay away from it – but this blog’s purpose is for me to vent, right?

I live in a city – and suburb – that has a high rate of immigrants. When I moved here several years ago, I thought that this was cool. Now I am getting tired of the verbal – and sometimes physical – abuse I have to endure.

Being from Turkey or North Africa doesn’t make you a lesser human; bullying others because you are in a group and they aren’t and calling them “sons of bitches” whose “sisters you fuck” does. I am frankly fed up with that sort of crap – I see it every week or so.

Really, you moved to Europe. Get with the program. Learn to behave yourselves according to local customs and social norms. If you can’t, you are free to leave. Send someone with brains instead.


Ever since I signed with my current employer, there have been persistent stories about the ‘exploits’ of one of our managers. That is, he sexually harasses his female staff. Some of the co-workers who told me about it claimed to be victims themselves, but I never witnessed any of it myself. At the same time, there are just too many reports by too many women – if this is not true, it would have to be a big conspiracy indeed.

I always “hoped” that I might be a chance witness, so that I could trigger something, but no such “luck”. I did encourage the victims to report it, but as far as I know none ever did.

Last week, and purely by chance, I ran into a woman who had left the company recently. I asked her why she resigned, as overall she seemed to be okay with the job.

“Secretgeek, you remember I told you he tried to touch me a couple times?”

“Yes,” I said, dreading where this might go.

“He actually put his hands between my legs once. Nobody – none of the women anyway – will enter a car with the man. It is really terrible!”

“So why didn’t you ever complain officially?”

She shrugged. “You know what would have happened? He’d say, ‘I didn’t do this’ and that’s that.”

I had to concur. But I had to think about this a lot the past few days, and so today I sent an – anonymous – mail to our CEO, who is usually quite approachable. I didn’t name names, but made clear what the situation was, and that I realize that he can’t do much based on rumors. I suggested that he should remind all staff that such behavior is not tolerated – and include guidelines what a victim should do.

I don’t know if it’ll help. But at least I did something.


A lady ‘liked’ my profile. Seemed like a nice person so I decided to send her a message.

“Hey Secretgeek, thanks for your message – unfortunately you’re simply not my type, sorry.”

Okay, then.

I think morale at my workplace has hit a new low. I’ve been listening to people who come to me to bitch about the management – I think they kinda trust me because they know I am our bosses’ top enemy – and it seems that not one soul trusts any of our managers. They’ve been described as “liars”, “selfish”, “despotic”, “untrustworthy”, “stuck in a 1930s mindset”, and worse.

I can’t really deny any of that. As far as I can tell, the local management is basically working into their own pockets as best they can – supporting each other for raises, while not even forwarding requests from other employees. Covering for each other when they take days off (“sick days”, “work from home days” if anybody asks). One guy overdid it so much that he was fired for taking excessive amounts of sick leave (about 60% of work days, I kid you not) after he was observed at a party while “ill”.

The local managers who can approve orders themselves have bought themselves nice mobile phones, iPads, induction charging stations, usb memory sticks with LED usage indicators, and other gadgets.

I’ve raised the issues several times before and told them, obviously without naming names, what staff thinks of them and how I think they should do better – presumably at least part of the reason why I am enemy #1 – but you should not think that the behavior changed.

It’s not really my problem, but I’ve successfully defied them in the past – illegal orders, violations of company process, and attempts at bullying me into resigning – and so I’ll try to raise the issue with our CEO. I don’t really think there will be any sort of change, but I think it might be amusing.

Besides, it’s good conflict training. Maybe when I am done with this mess I can actually think about getting into management myself. In the past, that idea scared me, and I turned down the opportunity twice – but perhaps it’s time to actually try and do it better.

Just, really – not in this company.


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