(I would have so much more cool if I could just keep the angst off the internet, dammit. Pay attention peeps, if you have nae mates, you end up LIKE ME. Tremble!).
Lo, it is yet another Monday, and every Monday is a new chance to Start Afresh, Turn It All Around, take my head out of the rut and stop taking this sodding job so seriously already, for life is short and should be more full of laughs.
(And I might just get there if the Powers That Be didn’t keep pranking me. Which is why my favoured deities have no sense of humour; unless it possibly involves rude jokes while quaffing, or maybe weaving something a bit satirical into a tapestry. They were also chosen particularly for their inability to Smite anyone without having second thoughts and making amends. Deities by definition have more power than me, and in such an unequal relationship, I definitely want ones who will Forgive My Fuckups on my side. Inasmuch as it is possible.
Of course, logically, I should be paying court to the ones who Don’t Forgive Anyone Ever, since those are the ones I have to watch, but… they’d know what I was doing, there. And they all hate each other. And I’m kinda fundamentally opposed to the idea of having to grovel to someone ideologically opposed to you so as just to not get Smote, because hey! too much of that in this world, thanks. So I’ve made my bed and will no doubt complain bitterly about lying in it. Until the end of time.)
Ahem. My inability to stay on topic (and off Yoda-mode) I blame on the codeine. Read on to find out why, if you
are truly that bored dare, adventurous stranger.
Anyway, since this is the second-last Monday before I am another year older (AUGH), spurred mainly by fear of remaining a complete nonentity my entire life, I pulled something extra out of the bag. Behold! Three days in a row, I was up at the crack of Five Ay-Em, studying integration! I bookmarked Jobs That Are Not This Job (in jails, in hazardous waste tanks, in places I cannot pronounce), I drew dragons, I walked long miles, I went up the Allittlement and worked like a dog.
The good news: My sunburn from Sunday is fading, (like Heineken, UV light refreshes the parts I just cannot reach; due to my sacrificing bendiness for muscle mass). And my potatoes have decided not to die of frost, woo, which means I might just have lots more of that wine which is surprisingly delicious*; and despite being warned that the neep seeds (which I had just finished transplanting into a gigantic tub, courtesy of a dream on Sunday morning telling me to) would die if transplanted, they are doing really well and have already doubled in size and put out Mature leaves. Score! And the parsnips and spinach I transplanted into the new cold frame have likewise doubled in size, and I have my first green currants on the currant bushes, flowers on the strawberries and rasps, the tomatillos have come up a treat, ditto the pak choi seeds some random internet bloke kindly sent me, and I am generally tremendously excited about my prospects of Finally Being A Gardener.
Cue frost and/or hurricane around harvest time.
(*as spake by: my Colleague of Skull Scarves, that bloke I bought the greenhouse off, and various party-goers. Yes, most of the above are biased, but not that bloke I bought the greenhouse off, for he never has to see me again! Seriously, make potato wine! Then chill it, it is a fabulous dessert wine. Unless that was a one-off.)
Unfortunately, it turns out that I cannot be motivated about my own projects without being motivated At Work also. See, cunning people would no doubt, under an immense barrage of work, strategically deprioritise the less urgent work and leave it to languish so that the boss (who knows not what our jobs actually involve, having never done them) can see that I am among the more highly-burdened – and yet it just! keeps! growing! Because I sodding DO IT, don’t I. Smarter people wouldn’t. But I can’t help myself! And am thus a fool, no two ways about it. Show me an impossible workload, and like a lemming, I will break myself on the damn thing just to prove…. something. I should order a tombstone: ‘Told You I Wasn’t Coping, I Did’.
And also, Warpath Woman is back. With A Vengeance. And well she might be, because once a thing round here goes wrong, it seems no power on earth – or of mine, at any rate – can put it right. And lo, her son’s appointment that I had secured last week, and gone and personally made sure the casenotes were there and everything and stapled a big note to the front saying, Please for the Love of God Do Blood-tests and explaining why – well, they didn’t. Furious, she is, and so am I – except, she is furious with me. And wants to talk to “someone who isn’t me” from now on, so at least there is that.
However, I have been taking (somewhat) of a stand. On creeping in before cock-crow on Sunday morning, I did notice the colossal mound of dirty dishes, filling the kitchen like some sort of monster from a horror flick with a budget of around a fiver. And I did lie somewhat earlier – I had done the pile of dishes before I left for work on Friday. So although their name was Legion, my name was on none of them. And I did say that housework was not included in the rent, and lo, I have once again netted a lodger who does not lift a finger. So I initiated Dishwar(!) where I did only my dishes, until eventually he cracked and washed the rest. Or just, noticed them, or something. I may well be the only person who even knew Dishwar(!) existed, and damn, did I suffer, walking past a whole pile of dirty dishes needing washed, day after day, and forcing myself not to wash them. No really, it was like Odysseus and the Sirens, if he hadn’t been tied to the mast. And this is why I am a complete and utter Rube. (And quite possibly why my boss thinks I deserve everything I get. And maybe even why people avoid my gaze when I ask if they think it is true. Oh GOD).
Anyway. Around Wednesday evening, I could take no more of the productivity, and washed up on the beach of lassitude. Well, that and the climate round here is suddenly positively Mediterranean. And I had an appointment Thursday to get my last remaining (wisdom) tooth out, and I had saved up all the hours of overtime to Not have to go back to work afterwards, woo! Also, Jesus. I am still not sure it is right that I have to do that. I mean, I know, economy blah blah everyone in boat, blah, but still.
I was a bit unsure about the, er, wisdom of having the last remaining wisdom tooth out – unlike the last one that got yanked, it hasn’t actually done me much harm. However, having waited my entire adult life for this appointment, it seemed stupid to forego it, especially since the damn thing would promptly take over the job of Acting Up if I didn’t, and I had no desire to wait eighteen more years to get that sorted, thanks. So I trogged along. Besides, at the last minute, they wouldn’t be able to fill my slot (oo-er) and I hear enough about how much it costs our department per minute when folks don’t show for theatre. Being A Good Patient Time!
Last time, I was full of anticipation at the novelty; this time I was just filled with foreboding that this was a Terrible Error*. So I perked up a bit when the dentist (a different one, and with his chest hair hanging nonchalantly out of his scrubs, where it would no doubt be right above my face during the op, argh) told me that this time, there would be A Student being told what he was doing as he did it, and also, there would be Bone Drills. Ooh! Excitement! Novelty!
*I was so right.
And the Student turned out to be rather pretty, so there was that.
My first alarm bells went off when I was assured that, because they were swathing me from head to toe in Gowns, they would be keeping the window wide open so I ‘didn’t get too warm’. Oh now hey. Right outside that window is Sauchiehall Street, main thoroughfare and public-house ground-zero of Glasgow, with the dried vomit I had to step around on my way here already blistering in the unexpected sunshine, and the thermals of dust and chip pokes ready to ignite. I assured them I was okay, really, and in fact was Far Too Cold at all times, to which the Bossman especially will attest – but the dentist was adamant. I acquiesced, and (sadly, with hindsight) did not warn him that should an errant crisp packet waft into my face at any time during proceedings, I would make a spirited attempt to remove his bollocks with his own scalpel (ditto for a stray chest hair drifting into my open mouth.)
Well, at least this should be over quite swiftly, right? I mean, it was last time!
Nope. Not even because he was describing the horrible, horrible things he was doing to me to the Student (actual conversation: “and this is called a ‘rake’, because we use it to spread the tissue we just ripped open, like so“), or even because I could follow the progress of the operation on a helpful, large-font full-glossy-colour chart on the wall behind him. With photos. Which I was able to do at my leisure, because for most of the operation, he wasn’t there.
For, yea verily, on no less than five occasions, he declared, ‘hmmm, I need a different [rake/ drill bit/ scalpel/ the original damn drill bit again/ new sodding scissors?’ THE FUCK?] and wandered off. Right out of the room. Leaving me with my mouth wide open, and an open wound wide open in it, in a room with the window wide open and a gentle breeze of god-knows-what blowing right at me, and only a very nervous Student trying to make polite conversation as he sucked all the blood away with a mechanical straw, while I remembered being told very definitely that not having all your tools laid out to hand was Bad Blacksmithing, and presumed this went even more so when you had an actual patient laid out in front of you.
He carried on like this to such an extent that before we’d got to the main event (The Pliers) the anaesthetic had worn off, and I had to holler for more. When he went for the new scissors, leaving me with a vast swathe of yarn tied to the back of my mouth for several minutes, I a) started choking on my own panic and b) finally realised that he might (for all I knew) be out slugging down a giant vat of Starbuck’s finest, because surely only that would account for the constant loss of interest – and therefore, might very well be hungover as hell.
Well I was certainly a lot more swollen, this time around. Although I suppose this could be due to the bone drill. (If you haven’t experienced having the inside of your mouth showered with tiny splinters of your own jaw; they are nowhere near as sharp as you would think).
I gamely thanked both, and they told me I was a Very Good Patient, and I refrained from saying anything negative at all (besides, it would have come out all slurred and Mr Chest-rug would have been all, ‘Eh, the anaesthetic affects them all like that’) and left. And went up the Allittlement and spent three hours slaving away very gently in a greenhouse Like Unto The Tropics, sweat running down my face, the works. Which possibly Did Not Help, I will grant you. And the lassie from the end plot came over and we had a wee chat in the sun, with a beer, which Possibly Did Not Help either, but it took a whole team to screw this up this badly, I am just saying.
I refrained from drawing dragons that night, in case I drooled all over them. Instead, supermarket for supplies for the Bossman, and early bed on account of Argh! SO MUCH WORK! and also Argh! Meeting With Boss! in the morning. At which I wanted to be Impeccable, dammit. You know, after last time.
As well as looking like half a chipmunk, come morning, I was in rather more pain than last time around, and had an… interesting department meeting. I tried to say little and look intelligent and Keen, but the meeting wore on and the painkillers wore off, and my Colleague of Cakes is in full Hayfever throes and every time she cleared her throat it felt like someone had let off a howitzer in my ear, and eventually I just had to excuse myself to go get more pills. Perhaps they were talking about me on my return, as it seemed, or perhaps that was common or garden paranoia, but the boss did not say owt like, Oh my god, how was the op? Feh.
She did, however, when I warned her of the possible complaint Warpath Woman is constructing against me, inform me that I am not to explain ‘internal politics’ (or rather, Why All This Is Not My Fault, Kthx) to patients (which I have not been doing, kthx). I said as much, and observed as mildly as possible that it can be quite rubbish when someone is Very Angry with you personally, about something you personally did not fuck up; but apparently this too is Part of My Job. Once again, she kinda implied that I was being so thin-skinned that you can see my pulse, and I am rather worried she is correct – but lo! Did I not talk to someone else just last Friday, and she said she had been in floods of tears (of pure rage) over her job to her boss, not a fortnight since, and then, a week later, her boss was in floods of tears of her own, over her workload? It Is Not Just Me (Dammit). And hey, on my way to the Bossman’s afterwards, did I not see a big sign at the railway station, declaring, ‘you don’t expect to go to work to be assaulted, and neither do our staff (physical or verbal assault included)’ and I laughed a big snort in public and everyone stared and I had to run away?
I am trying to think how I would have handled this As A Boss, and I hope that something along the lines of, ‘Sometimes this happens, unfortunately, and it totally sucks, but it does happen and you must take it on the chin, and it is perfectly natural to be upset by it, but remember it does not reflect on you, and I totally value your work even if Joe Public/ the consultants don’t’ would be more appropriate; because that is what I would want to say. All the italic’d parts are the bits she didn’t say, obviously. Eurgh, maybe I am a special snowflake, oh god, the SHAME, (you know, in the sense of wanting to be wrapped in cotton-wool) but – I work hard at my job, and I take a pride in doing it well. This is much more difficult when there is more job than I have time to do well, and fucking everyone carries on like they hate me and has the right to get in my grill about it.
I urgently need to de-invest in my ability to do my job. Which means I urgently need something else to invest in. *taps desk, twiddles thumbs*
Anway, all’s well that ends well. The working week drew to a close, I went home and cooked and cleaned and drank rum with the Bossman, and my stitches unravelled and fell out. Sweet merciful god, did he get nothing right?