Today did not start off very well. It was one of those mornings where twenty minutes suddenly evaporates on you, even though you’re doing everything in the same stupor you always do, so I left without coffee in the end. I also left without all the cheap-rip-off pot noodles I’d placed in a bag by the door (I was supposed to fall over it and thus remember to bring it with, only due to being uncaffeinated, I booted it out of my way instead). Hmm. Lunchless!
I was also gormless at work. Great. My lack of confidence with the maths has now become so dire it is spilling over into other areas of my life! Worse, it is catching. After a while, my Cellmate also became gormless.
Or maybe, it’s endemic, because when I took the usual emergency run of letters up to the clinic, the nurses informed me that Dr Anonymous had staggered in, looking shellshocked, spent ages punching numbers into the phone, been eventually informed he can’t dial a mobile number from there and looked at the phone and said sadly, I’m not very good at a lot of things, am I?
Noooo, Dr Anonymous, don’t feel bad! I mean, we’ve had one conversation in the two years I’ve worked for you (you said, ‘Jesus, you’ve been my secretary for a year and I don’t even know if you’re married or what’) but I don’t want to hear of you being in this sort of funk! I’m in this sort of funk! It sucks!
So I felt really upset for him. Possibly it was the swanking great tip he put in my Christmas card last year.
But there was no time to dwell on that, because true to form for Hellday, all hell was breaking loose. Around Dr Hurricane (again). She had been given the news that her secretary, my Colleague I Suspect Is Up To Something, was not in, hadn’t been in all week, hadn’t had a chance to do any of last week’s work and nobody was getting an urgent operation.
It was unfortunate that, when my Colleague of Cakes took Dr Hurricane through to see if there was any pending on said colleague’s desk for her, there was rather a lot of it. Dating back to October. Some of it, was for my consultants. Grrr. It was even more unfortunate that an email came in for my Colleague of Cakes, while Dr Hurricane was still stood by her desk, saying that my Colleague I Suspect Is Up To Something will be working out of the different hospital next week as well (and thanks for picking up her work).
(Um, we haven’t. We’re down from five people to as few as two at the moment, and every day is go-home-early-before-you-get-snowed-in day. We’re lucky to be as far on as we are. My Colleague of Cakes has been picking up my work, I’ve been picking up my Cellmate’s work, but it hasn’t got any further down the chain than that yet.)
Dr Hurricane hit the roof, which is admittedly her standard modus operandi, and within fifteen minutes another email was through saying, ignore that last email. And so us three remaining crew-members volunteered to run about organising urgent operations (and some of us had to find out what the hell last month’s test results said, too). We operated as a finely-tuned machine, it must be said, and everything got done within the hour.
(Which might be providential on the office-politics side too, because my Cellmate and my Colleague of Cakes worked together, and operating as a finely-tuned machine in a crisis is bound to encourage bonding, right? Which might help thaw any incipient awkwardness. My Cellmate is firm friends with my Colleague I Suspect Is Up To Something, and I am firm friends with the other two and we have been very careful (or I have, and I suspect my Cellmate has too) to say nothing at all that’s negative about each other’s pals.)
Wait. We worked well there. I worked well there. Hmm. Show me a crisis, and I am magnificent! I’m just crap without deadlines.
Once I got home, I tried to capitalise on this sudden burst of adequacy by getting to grips with the second moment of area again, but it was no good. I could make neither head nor tail of where I was going wrong. In desperation, I changed into some slightly more risque clothing (the jammies with the leopard print) and took a riding crop to the sums. Maybe it will show them who’s boss! More importantly, maybe it’ll show me who’s boss (and it better be, me!)
And when I sat back down, I noticed that in the official answers (which mercifully, show working) they’re dividing by three. Now to find the second moment of area about the axis on which the centroid lies, I am sure you divide by twelve. (I am still not totally convinced what the second moment of area is, but I am fairly confident on this point). I hurriedly emailed the nice engineering chap who has nothing to do with this course.
I am Right. The official sums are Wrong! Therefore, I have spent all week hung up on this damn thing and it was entirely unnecessary! Ha! In your face, sums.
Now I can proceed, hurrah! Except… now I know I’m working off texts that are not necessarily accurate, and could be learning a whole load of nonsense.
So sometimes, everyone else is wrong but it doesn’t actually make things any better.