So, Monday rolled around and I rolled out of bed and into work, for I had a cunning plan to deal with the Increased Work situation! Namely: sit on it, because neither myself nor my boss have been Officially notified of the Increased Work situation, therefore any whining I do right now is based on hearsay.
Hearsay promptly informed me that everyone else in my team, plus everyone at the clinic, had been notified, however. I was thus in that nicely self-satisfied stage of self-righteous rage.
And in that frame of mind, which constitutes an explicit invitation to the universe to strike me with lightning, I worked late and then marched straight out to meet a brace of complete strangers, score some corrugated iron off one lot and get t’other to drive it across my postcode for me, allegedly gratis. This is, no matter what your frame of mind, not a good idea and should not be tried at home. I did retain the presence of mind to at least leave a message with my Colleague of Skull Scarves, informing her of the culprit’s identity should I turn up dead tomorrow, rather than at the office. See! This will totally save my arse! Oh no, wait.
It is at times like this that I pause to reflect: is there not somebody else I shoulda have called? But the Bossman is out of the country, I can’t exactly inform my Chestnut-haired Old Mother I’m in a van with a stranger, and who else would give a toss?
(If you cannot tell from this: the recent self-berating has been having an effect on my ego. Just, not on the rage it is supposed to cure.)
I did inform my new lodger of the score, but only belated realised I’ve just given him the perfect alibi for bumping me off instead, now. And do I really know him from Adam either? Nope!
Ironically enough, it was during these reflections that the guy with the van begged me not to thank him publicly on facebook, on account of his mother has just signed up and would freak the hell out if she knew he was in his van with a stranger. So I will merely record here: what a lovely chap, and he helped me carry all the (extremely heavy, very rusty and potentially tetanus-filled) metal slabs all the way across the allotment and drove me home again, for which he only received a gourd. And massive rust stains all over his jeans. I know not how he will explain this.
So Tuesday brought the bombshell that my poor colleague, the one I have recently been very angry with, has just had even more bad news, and basically I have to shut up, back down and slink off STAT. While offering all necessary support and aid, although nobody knows what that could be, so insolvable is the situation. But I can try. I can totally do that! She is having a terrible time of it, the last year, so it is time for me to get a grip and some perspective and a bollocking from the boss re the overtime, in that order.
As far as my own, far more minor misfortunes go; though the rage had kinda swallowed its own tail and imploded, the part of my brain in charge of flagellating me about it turned out to be impossible to switch off. I spent the week marinating in a swamp of guilt and despair, and feeling like the world’s biggest bastard for having been angry in the first place, although in my defence, it’s not like I did anything to anyone over it. Nobody involved even knows how I feel! Nevertheless. So I retreated into Nifft the Lean, which I (selfishly, on impulse and very un-frugally*) got a second-hand copy of through the post. Woo, Michael Shea, he was writing demonic BDSM before it became popular!
[That’s, ‘popular’ – Ed].
Unfortunately, around the same time, I had also entered that phase where absolutely everything Is Aimed At You. (This stuff also happens to people with Normal brains all the time too, right? So everyone knows what I’m on about?) Thus, the descriptions of mediocrities with souls composed only of ‘greed, complacency and fear’ marinating in a giant afterlife sewer Which Was All They Deserved were a tad more upsetting than they might otherwise have been. And all the people who came up to commiserate with me on my Cellmate’s departure and tell me she’s lovely had, “unlike you”, helpfully added to the end of their sentences by my brain. Etc. Even a jaw-droppingly pleasant interaction with Dr Hurricane, wherein she commiserated with me on the lack of sick leave and even swore on my behalf, could not drag me from my (self-indulgent, pathetic*) gloom. Wherein I achieved nothing, and then felt bad about that as well, and round and round we go.
To make matters worse, I got word in during the week that there were Relatives in the vicinity, so I would be required to grace them with my presence, and actually, you know, act graceful. While also hauling rocks/ erecting decking as required. I realise that for many people, the arrival of relatives is a joyous occasion; sadly in my case it’s more an,
—ORANGE ALERT – FENRIS WOLF RESTLESS – FROST JOTUNS MASSING NEAR BIFROST BRIDGE – INVESTIGATE IMMEDIATELY – NO NOT THOR – YOU- MESSAGE ENDS—.
I have probably aired too much dirty linen in public already just by saying that, oops, but I am sure many other people are in this sort of boat, (one filled with the ghosts of Unresolved Issues past, and also people who have nothing in common beyond their DNA, for instance) and will therefore leave it there before this whole chronicle sinks under the weight of ‘and one time, at band camp, someone was meeeeean to me’.
Ace duly concealed up sleeve: the Bossman is accompanying me on Sunday. It’s like having a Thor in tow when negotiating with the frost jotuns!
Thus I was doubly forced to belt up on Friday night when I went to ‘pick up’ the Bossman from the airport. Nobody wants to come back from an exhausting and often frustrating week of working abroad to an exhausted and frustrated partner with problems of their own to air, right? And also, I am about to owe him a favour of EPIC proportions. So it were Def Leppard and train cider and a whole bunch of frantic differentiation of x, because it’s amazing how it seems to keep people at arm’s length.
Well, that and the train was empty.
Not sure how I managed with the ‘happy and carefree’ though. Possibly, a 6?
Anyway, further belting-up was occasioned, as Saturday was a mate’s birthday, and we had just about enough time to ‘belt’ (see what I did there) back through to Glasgow, summon a takeaway, change, pack up some homemade booze and home-grown chilli plants as the Most Expense Spared Ever gifts, and leap back out. With my lodger in tow, in case hanging around with a bunch of total strangers was his bag.
To my honest shock, the recipients were very, very excited by the gifts. That or they are superb actors and I need to up my own ante so that I am just as graceful and charming about paupers dragging random tat into my home. They made me cocktails, I admired their lemon tree, which is mightily huger than mine and last year bore them an actual lemon; I handed round the potato wine, which everyone pretended to enjoy, I had a couple of drinks myself… and the stress and tension of the week came boiling out of every pore and I exhibited a total lack of grace and charm and in fact made ‘somewhat’ of a tit of myself. Le chagrin. And our (cheap, private-hire) cab failed to arrive and I ended up walking partway home in the frost, and my socks, before we managed to flag down a (expensive, black) hack. Using my stilettos, if I recall correctly.
Meanwhile, the unopened bottle of jack that does the rounds of my mates’ parties has moved on to a new home once more. Along with the empties, which I am more upset about because it takes forever to get the labels off.
This is why I try not to socialise, except when there really is no help for it.
Still, I got up and fixed breakfast and went and hauled rocks by the barrow-load (either fortunately or unfortunately, I had brought the barrow in question) and mowed an acre of grass for my wee bro, and the Bossman very kindly did likewise, though he has never met my wee bro (yup, that’s ‘has’, not ‘had’; my wee bro was at work while we were over. The Bossman has a theory that my wee bro is avoiding him.)
My dad, however, was present, although doing something to the decking, but we went for a meal afterwards and no harsh words were said, and it was all perfectly civil. (Though I may have ballsed up slightly, while desperately trying to retrieve the conversation from the danger-zone, by telling a hilarious personal anecdote of accidental incest.
Not mine, I hasten to add.)
But it might not have all been perfectly civil, without a Thor up my sleeve! We will never know! Take no prisoners chances!
And somehow, the weekend was gone and it was time to curl up with a book for an early night and try and get the intense cold out of my bones. I had forgotten just how much wind there is round my wee bro’s place, and this is not a euphemism.
Right, a quick blast of demonic BDSM stories, and a timely reminder that Things Could Be So Much Worse, before the next wave of work hits!
In conclusion: I would be more okay with Actual bad things happening if I could just guarantee I could ride it all out with Aplomb. This is almost certainly a really horrible attitude.