(Warning: massive amounts of bitterness contained in post)
I will say it now, I had the feeling things were going too well last week. I mean, new lodger to pay for blacksmithing – and there were places left? The DIY and (the current round of) donkey-work at the Alittlement are both over? Free time on the horizon? Say it ain’t so!
Granted, the total stranger who was going to bring a van and cart me free corrugated iron across town couldn’t make it at the last minute. Granted, blowing a big load of money within half an hour of it hitting my bank account was not quite fast enough, and a whole pack of bills came charging in after it (comprising not only the mystery factor repairs that you never see any sign of them actually having done, but government-mandated engineering course price rises, and surprise Relatives Sprogging events). Granted, I suddenly realised I had failed to get hold of three whole engineering assignments, and had to sort this out tout suite. Granted, I had forgotten my log-ins to access my engineering account, and had to spend an embarrassing lunch-hour getting ‘em back. Granted, the whole system for handing in (or even, finding) assignments has been overhauled since New Year and I wasted an entire, teeth-grindingly maddening evening trying to navigate their ‘improved’ website and silently apologising to my Chestnut-haired Old Mother, who had called for a half-hour rant about Lloyds TSB for similar reasons only last week. And granted, that story got rejected (see! I tell people about it [on a platform of insanely limited impact – Ed] so plan B is still going well! Somewhat.)
And granted, this is my Cellmate’s last week of sharing this cell with me, le sniff, but she is moving back to the rival hospital and it is closer to where she lives so she will save a fortune on petrol (especially if she puts in that claim for the extra mileage since getting punted over here 18 months ago for no good reason). So my plans to attend the Perth Show for a relaxing day of shooting and drinking with my Colleague of Skull Scarves are bollixed by her absence, for there are now Only the Three of us, and unlike in Highlander, there cannot Only Be One. (Mind you, it would have been worse if it was my Colleague of Skull Scarves who hadn’t got the time off – she’s the one with the transport to get to the Perth Show!) And granted, a pile of extra work came out of the woodwork this week because the rival hospital is apparently understaffed right now and cannot possibly be expected to cope at the same sort of levels of graft that I put in, just for instance (yes, I am bitter. Or I would be, if it were not for the fact that my Colleague of Cakes takes the nurse-clinics off me and therefore ensures that I do not quite drown in paperwork).
So yeah, this week had a ‘certain’ amount of set-backs going on.
(And also a certain amount of time and money required for leaving gifts and sprogging gifts and cards of every stripe, and tools-down for cake and tea with my Colleague of Cakes to sympathise with her having a rough time over the last year, which left me scrabbling to catch up with the workload.)
But this was all small stuff that I was not going to sweat! For I am far more awesome than that!
Nope; the bit I sweated was where my Colleague of Cakes suddenly announced – and to my Cellmate, not to me – that she was ditching helping out with my workload. Coming hard on the heels of the cake and tea and lashings of chocolate and sympathy I had been doling out, I was very much less than impressed.
The upshot is: an extra working-day a week is coming my way! And I am tooth-shatteringly furious at the prospect.
In fairness, I can see that my Colleague of Cakes has maybe not had her heart fully in this job for a while now – and even without everything else she’s got going on, I cannot blame her. ‘Life’s too short,’ she keeps telling me, ‘and you won’t get any thanks for working yourself into an early grave’. And she is quite right on both points. In fact, apart from my Cellmate, who just wants a nice quiet job, preferably somewhere closer to home, all three of us would rather be somewhere else; whether it be retirement, management, or raising chickens in a little nuclear bunker in the country with a nice view and a clandestine lab. (I shall leave the reader to guess who is who). And Christ, it’s only a couple of extra hours a day!
However, it turns out that the extra couple of hours a day the job is going to take was the couple of hours I used for doing Me stuff – you know, once the job and the sleeping and the getting to the job and the achieving of an acceptable level of hygiene for the job, and the cramming of food down one’s throat and the clearing up of the trail of destruction this somehow leaves is all taken care of, and I can do some studying or drawing or martial arts or writing. That couple of hours. Didn’t I lose enough of them last year to this flaming workload?
(Everyone in Somalia: ‘oh cry me a river’).
I expect to see this week’s whingeing featured prominently on first world problems soon enough, and I am aware that I might be deep in Total Diva country here. I can now add a massive dose of feeling like an ungrateful prune to my massive dose of rage (if that killed the rage, I would be winning!) But I will still say this: though I try not to let it, it grates most mightily that someone else can just say, ‘well, people I am close to have scary health problems and I am making that my priority, so here’s your work back’. Because my colleague’s patients are mainly people with runny noses. On the other hand, the patients I do all the admin for are the people with the scary health problems, and if I let all that pile up, I feel like I’m basically saying, ‘I care not for your scary health problems, for my priority is my pigging engineering course which even I know will probably never pull my sorry arse from this hellhole, and my doodling of stupid little dragons, which will never be my day job either, for I AM A COMPLETE BASTARD.’
(Perhaps, I feel this wound up about the whole thing because the last time I was putting in stupid amounts of overtime, and close to snapping point as a result, there was one particular patient who kept phoning up to yell at me for being a lazy, heartless monster. It was a very frustrating time for both of us, what with a) I spent hours on it, despite all the rest of the million things I had piling up and b) every time I had begged for an appointment to be made for her, it kept getting struck off again for one reason or another. However, I feel it was ironic that she had her biggest outburst on a day I had come in despite being signed off sick, just to make sure she was getting dealt with, but ho hum.)
Though I will never be a hero to any of these people, I at least try not be the heartless villain who can’t be arsed and lets them slip through the cracks. You know, the one they totally think I am before I’ve got further than picking up the phone! Thus, a) every conversation starts with both parties already at battle stations, and b) in trying to keep myself right, I am putting in the extra time, raging inwardly… and steering rapidly into ‘BEING A COMPLETE BASTARD’ territory.
I severely need to get over myself, but at the moment all I can see is a long tunnel of Nothing But Work stretching ahead of me again, dammit.
In fact, I got so little done this week, outside of work, that I cancelled my plans to see the Bossman this weekend, which is a shame cos he’s off abroad again tonight. On the other hand, being this grumpy In Person might be the death-knell of our relationship, and then I really would have a reason to be cheesed off.
Instead, I spent the whole time potting out plants and wrestling mightily with a series of what are probably very basic equations, but which take me a very long time. Partly because it turns out me calculator had been thoughtfully set to radians mode by the Bossman many weeks ago, and that is not something that turns off when the power goes down.
(Coincidentally, ‘radians’ mode is indicated by a solitary blue pixel at the top of the screen, much like the one that ‘informs’ me that my phone is in ‘plane’ mode and won’t do Phone things. And I have failed completely to master the art of ‘checking for this phenomenon’, so I guess I can chalk this problem, too, up to ‘being a complete idiot’.)
With that fiasco out of the way, and with luck, I have calmed down just in time for the whole work fiasco to spring up afresh tomorrow morning. Otherwise, it’s Sunday Night Insomnia Fun!
In conclusion: I’m a moany cow, I know, I know. It’s not like I’m attempting to live this lifestyle in Somalia, for instance. But I’m starting to suspect that if you’re in the first world and spending all your time telling yourself, ‘Hey, at least you’re not in the third world!’, it means there’s something needing fixed. I am prepared to admit it might well be my attitude.
Since berating myself up and down for it hasn’t made me feel any less furious, however, I know not how to fix it.