Thursday, October 29, 2009

Piles Of

"Crap," I gasped, opening my eyes and blinking at the 6:58 that glowed on the digital clock. "Crap, crap, crap," I said, jerking myself out of my comfortable nest of fluffy softness. Thinking it was a miserable shame that I'd slept deeply only after 5:45 and was going to suffer for my 73 minutes of rest, I proceeded toward being late for a call I'd set up.

"Crap!" I repeated hurriedly when realizing my cordless phone was dead from being left off the charger all night. I ran downstairs to grab another phone, jogging back up to plug in the device and start the call with my secret code.

"Crap," I mumbled a moment later, opening the meeting announcement and seeing a different code. I quickly joined my Chinese colleagues on the phone and listened carefully while sipping soda leftover from last night.

"Do you want to go?" I asked Chienne after slapping on make-up and yanking on clothes. "We haven't walked for a long time. But you have to go slow." Halting the happy prance only long enough to have the leash clipped to her collar, we soon headed off - not at all slowly - down the street.

"Crap," I muttered when, holding a bag of that very substance, I looked back to see Chienne duck her head to escape her collar. "Come here, please," I coaxed and praised her when she wandered toward me. I said her name warningly when she did the same thing 5 minutes later, switching tactics this time to scamper away rather than follow me home.

I went ahead a swore for real before moving wearily toward my house. I got the mail and waited on the front porch before shrugging and heading inside. Summoned by neighbors who'd come to tell me Chienne had just crossed the street, I finally got my puppy back by crouching to cuddle a very soft sweetheart named Baxter. Jealousy works wonders and I was able to slip the collar back on, thank the neighbor and her canine and walk inside.

I left without a word or treat for Chienne, merely glaring as she blinked at me.

"Crap," I sighed upon seeing my schedule. Constant meetings - back to back to back - from 9AM-9PM. I was already tired and could feel a headache lurking, but I began my day, talking to people and taking notes.

"Don't make me tell you no," a superior - though not mine - warned me, much as I spoke to my dog when she was going to run away. "I haven't decided yet. I'll let you know what you can do to help. Later." I went back to my desk to sag with defeat.

I finally laid my head on the table, crossing my arms to cushion my forehead as the people around me continued a screaming argument in a conference room on the other side of the building. While I'm prone to exaggerating for effect, there was actual yelling. Some of it at me. So I cried. Two real tears in front of a group of people hardly cemented my impression of a graceful and effective leader. But at least they stopped yelling.

The topic of said meeting was to kill a project I've been working at since I started. We ended up shelving it rather than murdering it completely, but the overall effect could well be the same. And I thought of all the effort and time and, dammit, hope that went into this and I'm just crushed. Utterly demoralized.

"It's so bad," I said to Adam sadly after finishing a meeting with several people in his office. "I know," he replied simply. "I think I've been screamed at more this week than ever before in my career. We're losing the battle, Katie," he sighed. "And we're turning on each other."

"What?" I said, confused and exhausted when I sat in another office in a different building an hour later. A man sat behind his desk and indicated there would be a multi-million dollar lawsuit forthcoming. "But you don't know who?" I asked, completely befuddled. "Or why? But you want me to prevent it?" Summoning a moment's anger that we can't seem to find lawyers who do much other than caution us to Avoid All Risk, I tried to think clearly about this problem that may or may not materialize but had to hurry back to my office for another meeting.

"Hi," I said, smiling weakly at one of my favorite scientists when he entered. He sits outside my branch of the organization but he's wonderful - smart and creative and productive - and happens to own my favoritest of the works in progress. "Better, but still not good," I answered when he asked how I felt. "Crap," I replied when he informed me that his group had been reallocated to different projects, remaining slightly hopeful that they could continue putting some effort toward the cornerstone of one of my major strategies.

I turned to look out my window, rubbing absently at the searing pain in my head and noticing that my hands were trembling.

"I'm going home," I told Adam obviously when we passed in the hall with bag over shoulder and keys in hand. "I'm sick. And I can't. So I'm missing the 5:00 we have - do whatever you want. I really don't care anymore right now."

"Take care," he said mildly. I waved and walked outside, taking deep breaths in hopes to ease the nausea and got in my car.

"Crap," I said tiredly, looking blankly at the light that shone its desire for more gasoline on the dash. I stopped and got some, wandering inside to pay with my gift certificates. For the first time since doing so, I did not feel like a winner.

I have showered and nibbled on crackers. I'm in pajamas and in bed before 6PM. Because, well, crap.

5 comments:

Psych Post Doc said...

So hard to get back into things when you're still not 100%. I hope you get a lot of rest.

Anonymous said...

I hope you rest well, too. Working when you're sick sometimes just makes the getting well part take a lot longer.

May you feel better soon,
-soon-to-be

Amelie said...

Well, crap. I'm sorry. Get better soon.

JaneB said...

Well, crap. And real swear words.
What a horrible day.
I hope you sleep well, and that tomorrow is brighter.

In Between the Lines said...

That sounds like a really bad day. I hate getting yelled at, no matter who or what is about. I hope you get more sleep and feel better tomorrow. Also hoping naughty Chienne is giving you guilty cuddles after this morning

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