Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Aftermath

I'm wearing Carpenter Jeans today.  They have lots of pockets and loops.  I may invest in a few pairs.  My job can involve sitting at my desk and imaging or cleaning up computers, or preparing an image for the server.  It can also - and often does - entail getting under desks to see if wires are plugged in properly, putting my hands in dusty places to check things, etc.  In short, I can't dress up to go to work, so Carpenter jeans would be just fine.  I can wear a more attractive top, but pants that can get dirty and take a bit of a beating are necessary.

I don't think I'll ever leave my desk again without my radio AND my cell phone, so - lesson learned.  

The nice things that happened yesterday?  Yes, there were nice things.  A young man I work with who is very much a mans' man, not a softy at all - asked me if I was upset and proceeded to try to comfort me.  When he could see I was crying (I hate to admit I did that at work, but the older I get the it seems the less strong I can be), he came over and stood next to me in my chair and put his arm around my shoulders and patted me a bit, trying to make me feel better.  Knowing this is not his normal modus operandi made it so nice.  It was very touching to me.  

My other young coworker, our department secretary, brought a bag of jelly beans in and tried to give me copious amounts of sugar, knowing I LOVE that now and then, and that I love jelly beans.  She tried to save my butt by texting me and calling me on her cell phone, but she did all she could in that area.

At the end of the day before she left, she gave me a hug.  She also told me that things weren't as bad as I imagined.  

I do have a tendency to beat the living poo out of myself when I do something I know is downright stupid and I have NO excuse whatever.

So today will be better - onward and upward, folks.  

Oh- and the last nice thing.  The boss lady herself, after we were alone and everyone else had gone home - it was my late day.......said she knew I had been upset, but that I had to find a way to remember things.  She also wanted me to know that during the busy day she had not spoken to me, and it was not because she was angry, but because she was so busy.  She didn't have to say any of that - she didn't want me to think she hadn't spoken to me because of any hard feelings.  

I was able to apologize and explain that I had no excuse and I knew it - and I'd certainly carry my radio and cell phone from now on - AND put a calendar on my phone with beeps to remind me of meetings AND signs at my desk.  

So the day ended not as bad as I made it out to be yesterday and I did indeed go to bed within an hour of coming home.  Today is a new day and the saying, "this too shall pass", has proved true.

Boy do I wish I had nine more years under my belt so I could retire!!!!  Nine more years before I ante up 30 and can say, "sayonara" to the full time working world.  

You know what else?  I had been so distracted lately that I had not prayed through the Our Father on the way to work in a few weeks - think I'll catch up on that this morning as I drive.  

Hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Wednesday, which is ALWAYS better than a Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Tuesdays are usually not good days for me at work.  Monday is ok;  after all, I've just had a weekend off.  But Tuesday, so far from next weekend and a reminder that I have to do this again for 3 more days......somehow it just usually doesn't go well.

Today was the king of bad days.  For the past few months, we've had a dynamic new boss who is revamping our entire department and the way we operate - a much needed change.  I admire this boss a great deal - she is nice, she does not make anything to do with work personal, and she is fair. 

So what's the problem you say?  Well, at 55, I must be aging fast.  By the way  - the boss lady is just about the same age - or older than I am, but she is a juggernaut, a hard worker, very dedicated and on top of everything. She also has a Master's degree and has taken leadership training.  Me?  I'd love to be home growing veggies, trying to fix up our house, reading, homemaking, etc. 

Five years ago after a great upwards run at my job, where I had been in an important position for over 9 years, pretty successfully, everything changed.  A new director came on board at that time and his secretary wanted her own people, not to mention the outgoing boss left things a bit messy as far as rules go, for which I was held accountable.  Not very fair, but that's often the way it is. 

I was placed in a department where I have been woefully inadequate for a long time.  I've learned quite a bit, but I don't have the technology background to enable me  to grasp more complicated things quickly - I don't have the frame of reference.  I was put there by the director because it was the only other job on location that had the same salary grade. 

So, I'm getting older, I feel less than equal to my job - and for five years nobody really cared because our department was ignored and no one really cared what we did.  That sounds like it might be nice, but it was a downer and a discouragement, and the stress of knowing I not only wasn't equal to the job, but couldn't learn what was necessary unless I went back to college (an idea that horrifies me)......wasn't fun at all.  There are some courses I could take within my system that would allow me to understand things better but - get this - the main one is taught by my husband's ex-wife.  I don't think I could take that course....I would be too uncomfortable.  So... I was the dumb one in the department.  Still am to a certain extent.

So - onboard comes Ms. Dynamic - she wants me to learn all I need and has made workers from another location available to teach and demonstrate in between their copious work load.  I have learned a lot more and have been treated like one of the team, someone who has strengths and can do more with training.

Today there was a meeting that I knew about, scheduled for when I arrived for my shift.  I got there, evidently said, "are we still having a meeting?", which I don't remember, and then promptly moved on from the answer, which was affirmative - and went to try to get some of my work load whittled down.  I'm not working as fast or as accurately as would be liked - and I'm trying very hard to do better.

I think I'm just getting tired of working, tired of constant changes where one never knows how one will fit in after all is said and done.  And these changes are probably going to happen again in a few months, with yet another new boss. 

I forgot the meeting completely.  I went off to do a work order in a different part of the campus - and if that isn't bad enough, I forgot to carry my radio OR my cell phone so I could be contacted.  I have a tendency, when carrying radios, wires (I work in technology), tools, my keys, directions for certain fixes - of leaving something somewhere and having to retrace to see, where I left it.

I need a tool belt or a fanny pack or pants with lots of loops to hang things on, I guess.

So on top of missing the meeting, they called me on the radio - no response because, of course, my radio was on my desk.  They tried texting and calling me, but of course, my cell phone was also on my desk.

When I made it back to my building about 45 minutes later, my boss was coming out of the room where the meeting had been held and  said quite disapprovingly, "where were you - we tried to contact you....etc. etc."  She did not raise her voice or even sound angry - just disgusted maybe and disappointed. in my performance.

Me?  I was mortified, so embarrassed I could have willingly been sucked into the earth and felt better, not worse.  I don't believe in making excuses when there are none and the whole fault is mine.  There's no one else to blame, no traffic detained me, no emergency took precedence over the meeting - I just plain forgot completely.

 Rest of day?  Tearing up from a total feeling of absolute mortification, fear that I'm losing my mind and my working edge, fear that I'm getting senile - you name it.

So after making it through a full day feeling like I'd be happier walking into traffic, I'm home, taking a Xanax and going to sleep very soon - this day needs to be done for me.