Fair warning: I have no idea what this post is going to be about or if it’s going to make any sense. I just have a lot of things all jumbled in my brain fighting for space and I need to get some of them out of there.
My…um…challenges at work since September have been
well vaguely documented here on this blog. There’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of going back to my “real” job. And while I’m not sure the “solution” they’ve come up with will stick long-term, who am I to say? There are also a couple of major projects I am keeping no matter what. One of these projects came to a head in the last two weeks after more than four months of spinning my wheels trying to find someone (anyone!) who knew what the heck I was supposed to do. I finally had to contact the outside agency that needed the information, confess we were THREE QUARTERS BEHIND on our reporting, and ask exactly what information they were looking for (and how they needed it conveyed). Which made them go, “Hey, wait! They’re THREE QUARTERS BEHIND? We really need that information! Let’s tell them it’s due by next Monday or there will be Serious Consequences!”
This is how I ended up working from home during the evenings last week, skipping lunch on Friday and working so late without food that I gave myself a migraine (and vomited for the first migraine-related time ever), going in to work on Saturday, working from home on Sunday, and going in ridiculously early on Monday to make sure everything was ready to turn in that day. Finishing this project meant getting people very high up in our corporate accounting and information systems departments involved at the last minute. It meant begging for favors from colleagues. It meant literal REAMS of paper and overheating the printer. It meant ignoring every other thing I was doing, except not really because I couldn’t exactly ignore customers who came in with questions only I could answer or needing transactions only I could perform.
But I got it all pulled together and Monday morning I took the final cover letters to my boss for signature, one for each quarter. I placed them in front of him with a flourish, quite proud of myself. Look how much effort and attention I’d put in to the project to get it done on time! He looked down at the letters, looked up at me, and said, “It took you four months to produce three pieces of paper?”
When I could finally speak again, I told him that as a courtesy to him, I’d left the other THREE REAMS of paper at my desk and had only brought him the letters. I could go get the rest of it if he’d like to see it before it went out the door but I was pretty confident in what I’d pulled together. What ensued was a lengthy conversation of him questioning my abilities and me defending my time and efforts. Does he not at all remember that the first six weeks of this job was just me trying to claw my way out from the hoarders-style mess the last person left? Does he not remember me spending another four weeks training a replacement who just walked off the job one morning? Or the fact that I’ve still been covering my other job this whole time? We went rounds about who I had contacted to get answers and directions and he finally said something along the lines of “You really hit a wall at every turn with this one, huh?” Which I guess was supposed to be supportive. Eventually. But the initial reaction still really bothers me.
After our conversation, I called my contact at the outside agency to ask a good time to drop off the report to her, since is had been so imperative we submit it on Monday. She didn’t answer her office phone so I called her cell phone. And wouldn’t you know? They were closed. For the holiday. Yep.
I dropped by on Tuesday instead and met with her boss, who was extremely pleased with the professionalism and organization of the report (see, that’s ALL I WANTED!) and happy to get their 2012 paperwork behind him. So at least SOMEONE liked it.
In a cruel twist of fate, the former employee whose job I’m covering and whose mess this whole thing was in the first place stopped by work that same day “to say hi”. She’s been in a couple of other times since she was let go but I’ve managed to avoid her. Until now. When she came into the very office that she had left such a mess before. And stayed for twenty minutes talking about how being let go was the best thing that ever happened to her and how much she’s enjoying being home. Which, great for you, I get it, but I’m the one here cleaning up after you and trying to figure out what the heck you’ve been doing for the last twelve years. So please don’t flaunt the fact that you get to do whatever you want now. Because I don’t. Because of you.
Hmmm. It seems I might still be a little bitter about the way the last four-ish months have gone. You know, from a professional perspective.
(The word you’re looking for here is…“anyway”…)
Moving on! I finally purchased my plane ticket to Phoenix for PJs at TJ’s! Woo! It’s for real now. Not that I wasn’t sure about going before. Just that there were no actual plans to get there. Now Elise and I have plane tickets! And it seems strange to me but this is the first time we’re flying somewhere together, just the two of us. We have crossed paths in an airport, headed for the same destination, before. But never she and me, we, on a flight to go somewhere together. I’m ridiculously excited for the trip itself and for some time away from work and winter.
That being said, our winter has really been mild by all accounts. There was a cold snap in November and we’ve had some snow. But since Christmas, we’ve had mostly at or slightly above freezing temperatures. The hardest part this winter, for me, has been the darkness. The light is starting to come back in a noticeable way but it doesn’t feel fast enough. I’m still sluggish and craving sleep most of the week and giving in to it most of the weekend (when I can). I feel like I can never get enough sleep and I know that’s the effect of the darkness. I think the Phoenix sunshine is just the ticket to help tide me over until the real sunshine comes back here.
I don’t really know how to end this post, since it’s ridiculously long already and I haven’t said half the things I thought I might. But I won’t force you to sit through more incoherent babbling just now. Instead, here’s a picture of a really cute baby. (Excuse her slight mess. She got a little too in to her cracker.) (Also, this was one of the few non-blurry shots I got all day and it only happened because she was strapped down. Girl can MOVE now.)