Things you hopefully can’t tell just by looking at her

This was a hard week. Well, the last bunch of them were hard on a personal level till I went dead inside. (*waves in the general direction of north*)

But this was the first week at work that I envied friends with gainfully employed husbands. You know, just in case.

Not that I would leave what has turned out to be the best job I’ve ever had. Well, it’s a tie with Ye Olde Employment Establishment, although I think this one could easily edge ahead. Just, not after a week like this one.

I started working here (need a name for it! Halp!) in November. I started working at Ye Olde in January of a year long since passed. But it took until July 14 at both to, if not lose my marbles, feel a couple of them clacking together.

I will do what I always do and return to my happy place about all the current situations in my life. But I suppose enough years have passed to finally talk about the moment I first flipped at Ye Olde.

I was tied to a computer from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Back in those days I wasn’t as busy as I would soon become. Mostly I sat around waiting for work, and I was admittedly edgy that I had pockets of NOTHING TO DO during the real workday, when shit would roll in after-hours. And then we would be expected to turn said turdball into shit souffle before we left. Because, you know, we weren’t allowed to punish any offenders by leaving their shit stinking till the next day.

Anyway, by this point I had picked up a ball of shit that required me to be at my desk constantly. Bathroom breaks became a luxury. I never took a lunch hour in four and a half years. The work that rolled in was difficult, urgent and nervous-breakdown-inducing.

(Thank you assholes, by the way, for the fucked-up bladder. Cheers!)

So there was one day (July 14) that my best friend was due to have her second baby. She was in Oregon; I was in Maryland. I was there for the birth of her first and since she was known for very troubled pregnancies, all I could think about was how she was doing.

One of my boys was supposed to send me something urgent at 1 p.m. At 3:30 p.m. — a half hour before the markets closed, I had heard nothing. And the rule at the time was, no sending out urgent shit between 3:30 and 4. (My argument of course was that NOTHING IS URGENT AFTER 3, but I never did win that battle.)

Since it was 3:30 and I knew my friend would have been induced about an hour earlier, I decided to step outside and call her husband to see how everything was going. We had a nice chat, I learned I had a new “nephew” and I returned to my desk at 10 of 4 with a smile.

Well, at 3:36, the “urgent” thing rolled in. And boy did I have some angry IMs from my then-boss, looking for me.

Mind you that I’d been 100% available for seven months. So I hopped on the project and, as I had to do at the time, send it to him for approval. And his passive-aggressive ass ignored me for over an hour.

At the point the markets are closed, like I said, nothing ceased to be urgent. But that was just awful, waiting an hour to send something live to customers. It’s bad enough it was going in the aftermarket hours when it couldn’t be acted upon. Worse, the later you send it, the less likely someone is going to SEE it in their inbox.

I snapped that day. Cried the whole drive home (at 8 p.m., mind you). It was a nice 30-mile commute like the one I have now.

It taught me a terrible lesson that has turned into a terrible bargain on my part. Fuck what Goddess wants/needs. As long as I’m stressed out thanks to other people and external factors, I have job security. As long as I’m stressed out during my free time, the job is going fine. God forbid I make a phone call or a doctor’s appointment or — gasp — a vacation plan. The world stops and starts by my availability.

I have carried this horrible, terrible “bargain” with me ever since. I wrap stress around me like a duvet. I’m skeptical of happiness, and certainly feel impending doom when it appears that I’ve “caught up.”

The difference between then and now is that I used to work 14- to 17-hour days and here my cap is 10- to 12-hour days. Because, you know, I’m older and crabbier and I need more sleep.

Anyway, I tell this story to give myself the perspective that now isn’t that bad. I’m the boss now. I say when things go live or don’t go at all. Of course, that’s only half my job and it’s the other half that I don’t have time to do adequately, which is why I’m continually asking the universe for serenity.

But at least I have a plan. And staff whom I need to train to be my clones. And people who can, if not DO something about it, at least they can be warned that shit’s gonna change and it starts with the terrible bargains that — even though those aren’t their doing/fault/knowing — I’m no longer willing to make.

Hey, eight months and only one “meh” week — I’d say that’s a personal and probably NATIONAL record! 🙂

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