Despite everything, I rolled out of bed on Monday feeling very happy indeed. Which is always a bad sign. I did sums, I stripped wallpaper, I tripped up to the office and waded through the casenotes and did not despair, even when my colleagues made helpful comments like, ‘You look like you’ve gone ten rounds with Tyson,’ and, ‘Oh look, you can only smile on one side of your face, how adorable.’ Codeine is epic, yo.
Since I cannot use any more codeine after today, Tuesday is going to be hell on earth, I predicted. Time to use the only Perk this job has and get a consultant to make me a referral to the Dental Hospital! And here comes a consultant now!
Well, that was a let-down.
I dingied fightclub yet again, because the spare room looks like a bomb’s gone off in it, and went home to work hard against the wallpaper. I mean, someone could call at any moment and say they want the room, and what would I do then? I mean, nobody has, but they might!
(Well, one person has – he called yesterday and announced he was moving in yesterday evening and I told him, No, he wasn’t, because I don’t even know his name, let alone how he got my number, and this is not a hotel, dammit. It is my home, and I say who lives here. It is my one Perk, and let’s just observe how well my one Work Perk just went. Hmm. Still. Bad trend for the ‘being ordered about in my own home’ there. We have done that one to death already!)
Anyway, wallpaper stripping, my least favourite DIY task unless you could putting wallpaper up. The top layer is great, peels right off with a swift tug (ooh-er) (I suspect, the previous owners slapped that on sharpish somewhere between discovering the mould and me buying the place), but the bottom layer is put on with whatever they used to make glue out of, and it is stern stuff indeed. (And the hot glue catches something wicked in the back of one’s throat. Must be all the hooves.) It is also, annoyingly, a lovely shade of purple, not unlike the one I was planning on using, but scuffed to hell and unsalvageable. Once again, the joke is on me!
Tuesday was indeed hell on earth, and I dingied work to go to the Dental Hospital in the hopes that they might take pity on me. I dutifully called the New Boss’s mobile, only to discover she was on leave. She had told us this at a meeting on Friday, when I was on leave. Ahaha.
The New Boss probably hates my guts, and I cannot blame her – when she first arrived at the start of this year, I had to explain the ‘had to take stress leave due to workload’ situation, and she gave me warning that I was on warning for Absences.
I popped right back up on her radar a coupla weeks later, when Dr Anonymous phoned up and shouted at me to Get Off Your Arse And Go And Find The Results For This Patient for they are sitting here in front of me and I am looking Unprofessional. (Personally, I think it was your use of the word ‘arse’, mate, but there you go.) (Also, surprise, the results they would not give me over the phone, for I am not a consultant, they would not give me in person either). I suddenly decided I wasn’t taking this any more. I know, it’s so totally unlike me! The New Boss advised me not to go down the grievance procedure route ‘for it is very stressful’ and I had to explain that I already had one of those under my belt this year, thanks. (Response: ‘Oh, that was you!’) Yeah, hi. If I am not Official Troublemaker Numero Uno, I will be damn impressed.
A very nice lady at the Dental Hospital saw me after only half an hour of differentiation practice, for I am now desperate enough to sit doing sums in waiting rooms. And she said she would personally remove my wisdom teeth if I can just find a dentist to write a referral letter! WOO! There will be cutting of the gums, I was warned, and possibly cutting of bone. And giant pliers, probably. I am so excited. BRING IT ON. (A sentiment I am sure to regret).
Now all I had to do was find a dentist prepared to write this letter! I mean, I’ve only been looking for one for the last eighteen years. But she gave me a list of Dentists In Glasgow and I phoned the nearest one and the lassie on the phone said they could bring me in today and it would not cost and they would see about the referral. Woo!
Then she said, ‘And I will be your dentist.’ Awesome! ‘She will be a big tall Rock-chick dentist,’ I thought to myself. ‘She will have big tall Lurid hair. She will be wearing black. She will be wearing awesome shoes. She will tell me she will get my wisdom teeth taken out.’
None of which was particularly realistic. But hey, I am in luck – I have an actual Rock dentist, just round the corner from me! The purple decor gave it away. And my dentist is tall and has tall lurid hair (crimson, not purple, but I was close!) and sparky golden shoes and she was wearing a black uniform, and she is giving me a referral! Score! True, she spent rather a lot of time stroking my lips with her fingers for no readily apparent reason, but one cannot have everything. Wisdom teeth, soon we will part ways. Well, I will get you electroplated and made into cuff-links or something. No – a necklace, so I can effectively freak out my new colleagues, whoever they will be.
Take that, pain.
And it did – on the way home, it went to live in my ear instead. ‘Gonna get this removed too?’ said the pain. I am a little concerned about my mental state at the moment. How long till you can go back on the codeine?
The rest of the week was a melange of slogging through work and wallpaper stripping and earache and toothache. Woo. I had a brief moment of joy on Hellday when I was all up to date at the office, against every expectation, and about to start on the pile of loose paperwork when the Boss called and told me I was getting seconded to another department for the day, on account of they were horribly behind. Ah, payback for Tuesday.
I didn’t expect to be greeted with open arms while they cried tears of joy (like last time I helped out another department) but neither did I expect to be spoken to like a feckless serving-girl! Especially after I enveloped an inch high pile of letters, and another, and a third, and even up to a fifth, at which point they complained that wasn’t I finished yet and there was an urgent tape waiting, didn’t I know, and surely I should be doing that in their office so they could Keep An Eye On Me.
Managing to not quite choke on my own wrath, I necked a whole bunch of codeines rather pointedly and found ways around all the technical problems that prevent a secretary from one department typing for another one (password access, database access, complete technical ignorance on part of fellow secretaries. Ha! I rock!) For which I received a dressing-down so sharp that my Cellmate ran away and pretended to be fixing the photocopier.
By the time I finally got back to my own work, I discovered the police had been calling all day and everyone was all, Where the FUCK have you been, there’s an urgent referral you had to deal with! (Referred, ironically enough, from the department I had just been helping out). Sadly, the patient’s actual name has fallen off an attachment somewhere in the storm of emails, and so I didn’t know who she was, and the lassie who had been giving me grief had just gone out for crisps so I couldn’t find out.
Not. Helping. Out. Again.
So I take it this could well be what I have to look forward to when we all get moved around, right? The joys.
Having at last made it to the weekend, I spent Friday night… asleep. For sixteen hours straight. I take back everything I said about rocking.