I sobbed all the way home last night and when I pulled in to my neighborhood, mom was there. Which is maybe the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
First thing she did was compliment my outfit. Naturally, I instantly burst into tears again. Fortunately she was right there for hugs and to no doubt quietly wonder to herself why I was emotionally unhinged.
Allow me to tell you.
I remembered about an 8am staff meeting at 8:12am. This probably would have been ok if I hadn’t been covered in suds from head to foot and practicing my Thriller dance moves in the shower while concurrently singing Unchained Melody in great form with no audience at the time. But I was. No way to salvage that, but I leapt out of the shower anyway trailing streams of water and angst to see if I could dial in. Probably still could have salvaged the situation except that my craptastic work computer wouldn’t log into the VPN connection, which meant that I couldn’t access the meeting invitation, which meant that I didn’t know what number to dial.
My boss and I agree on many things:
- A friendly approach is the best approach.
- Image isn’t everything, but it is something, so take care of it.
- It’s best to address an issue head-on and work towards a solution rather than let the issue fester and intensify.
So I called her up immediately and let her vent about how aggravating it is to wait for me and for me to never appear. Understandable. I expressed regret, told her I’d research why not only I, but everyone except one other participant had failed to join the call and asked for her help to marshal the day into compliance so that this fantastic start to Thursday didn’t rot the whole barrel.
I don’t know how other people deal with a rough morning, but I primp. Managed to aggravate the boss before 9am? Well done, I give you high heels! Given a time-intensive research project (to discover how you f*ed up on the meeting invitation) on an already very full plate? Pencil skirt it is! Running a little late? Favorite purple turtle-neck shimmery top with buttons up the back of the neck ATCHA!
By the time I got to the office, I’d climbed out of the pit within which I’d been wallowing in my own ineptitude and was flying high again, mood-wise, because Come On Eileen had been on the radio during the drive-in and screaming “too-rah-loo-rah lay” is surprisingly therapeutic. The day was going to be dreamy from here on out.
Except that it wasn’t. In relating all of this to mom, in between hiccups and sniffles, I asked her if she remembered about that chick in “Bridesmaids” who kept thinking that she’d already hit rock bottom only to find that no- no she hadn’t. There’s always something else galactic-ally abysmal just waiting to explode in your face. That was my WHOLE DAY!
Mom thought this was funny. How bad could the day really get.
My boss called me once my butt hit the chair that morning to explain to me that her time was valuable, which was why she was so disappointed about the morning meeting. So instead of my usual routine, I dove head-first into the lotus notes hate spiral of figuring out how this marginally functional program functions. Turns out it didn’t, but whatever. The truth was, I should’ve known that no one else was going to join the call. A simple check of the RSVP’s would have alerted me to the fact that not everyone would be in attendance. This is true. My bad.
Some other piddly stuff went on. I’ve actually forgotten what I did next to stir the pot, it was nowhere near as bad as forgetting the staff meeting. But whatever it was, it prompted another call from her about her having taken a chance in hiring me because I had no experience in this particular role (true) and how she hired me anyway because I was assertive, articulate, personable and smart (also *ahem* very true). Working for her is tough but she knew I could do it. But she wants me to sit and train with the woman who had my job two years ago.
Which I did. earlier this week, but will gladly do again. Aware that I’m awesome but not perfect, I’ve been reaching out to colleagues and superiors for suggestions concerning systems and processes as well as advice on how to navigate ongoing communication issues.
This conversation left me a little drained. But I was still clinging to sanity.
And then I got an email from a colleague that was hella inappropriate. Commenting on the way that I dress and the effect that it has on certain people. You’re supposed to judge sexual harassment by how it makes you feel. This made me wish that I was dating a 8’11 monster who could play bongo drums with their skulls before smashing their faces together spraying blood and guts everywhere. I also wished that I had a burka. And I also wanted to vomit/cry.
So yeah, gonna go with sexual harassment on that one. Thing is, I could have both of them fired like *that*. Those morons.
Anyway. So I maybe wasn’t as receptive to mom’s compliment concerning my outfit as I otherwise would have been. Being my mommy, she understood.
Mom had come to swap cars with me. I haven’t had a chance to go to the dry-cleaners, am really low on toothpaste and need to get my oil changed in a big way. All of these tasks involve being able to not have your bottom glued to a chair for fourteen hours straight. Instead of just a quick chat, she came to the house with me, waited at the door when my boss called again with updates on an ongoing project. Then she waited patiently, trying not to laugh at the chaos that is my evening once the dogs are let out of their cage.
Then she tried not to laugh when I did a Michael Jackson lean while walking the dogs on the leash, still wearing heels and being dragged up the stairs and to the main door. Then she tried not to laugh as the dogs leapt into each other, heads knocking together and leashes getting hopelessly tangled as they barked and clawed and growled at a dog walking by. And I think she probably did laugh when Nook slipped his collar and streaked away from me in a fuzzy gray blaze of glory. Mom ran for her car while I screamed an obscenity at life in general into the deep blue of the night.
Fortunately he’s an idiot and made a bee-line for the dog park with me right behind him having flung my heels into the stratosphere so I could run barefoot and actually get somewhere. Mom went back to pick them up for me and stood quietly in the dog park while Nanook ran around looking for the perfect spot to drop a bomb and Ludo hopped up and down in front of us, his ears extended like wings, hoping that if he made himself eye-ball level, we’d be more likely to pet him.
I just wanted to lop his legs off at the elbow. To squash his enthusiasm.
Mom recognized that my attitude could perhaps use some adjusting. We all get beat up occasionally and it’s kind of amazing how one little trigger can set off an avalanche of catastrophe. But you rally, cling to what’s true about yourself and others and don’t internalize crap. Easier said than done, but there it is.
My boss called again when I got back inside to see if I’d had a chance to make the updates as per our earlier conversation.
Nope. I was larking around outside.
I ended up working until around 11:30 making the changes. And woke up at 6 to catch any other fires before they blazed out of control.
My boss wrote me a nice note thanking me for my good work and dedication this morning at 7am. Which gave me warm fuzzies but woah, nelly, Thursday. You can pack a punch.
Today was brilliant from start to finish. The icky guy apologized in person and followed up via email, which was brave and appropriate. I screwed up the gnocchi this evening (guess what provolone cheese isn’t? It isn’t Parmesan) and enjoyed every delicious morsel anyway, and the DVD player started to play “Last of the Mohicans” on the very first try.