Monday, March 12, 2012

On safari in his own country

Cedar waxwings hold a briefing.


You have a flair for adding a fanciful dimension to any story. - My fortune cookie fortune this weekend.

Talk about pressure!

The cats are hovering around me and my beef stew. Please don't mistake their hovering for affection, you silly geese. They're simply making a display of their disdain for having been reduced from their civilized three meals a day - a full brekkie, luncheon and tea - to the dreadful abuse of two meals with a light snack at bedtime. I'm waiting for the day I arrive home to find them chewing on Sophie who has a habit of taking a nap after school. Perhaps she senses the potential danger because tonight she'd locked herself in her room before crashing.

I drove like a maniac all the way home alternately dialing the home phone and Sophie's mobile, imagining the worst. She'd choked on a piece of stew meat and lay gasping for air, turning a disturbing shade of blue and writing me one last love/hate note with a shaky hand.

I love you so much, Mother. Why did you have to go back to work? Wasn't being my mother enough.....

Obviously, she's fine, only sleeping. I mean, I wouldn't be so callous as to blog immediately after - -  well, I can't even type the words.

Is this time change making you loopy, too? Leap forward, my darlings, right into this vat of confusion.

This morning, five of us - Nate's friend Al spent the night so we were plus one - got showered, dressed, fed and out the door on time. Somehow we managed the feat without any shed tears, broken bones or cross words.

The rest of the week will probably be full of tiny catastrophes and moments resembling the scene in The Poseidon Adventure when the boat is hit by a tidal wave and flips over. I wonder who'll be the poor sap falling face first through the plate glass window.

It's not lost on me that no matter how much night-before prep you do, no matter how organized and planned and stringently practiced your routine, when the tidal wave comes, you're gonna get wet.

By the way, you want to know who really misses me now that I'm not haunting the house all day? Well, I believe I heard the vacuum cleaner weeping quietly in his corner. I haven't tugged his hose in many days. And boy howdy does it show.

It may be part of my sinister plot to demonstrate to the other Goldens just how untidy and rank things can get around here when I stop cleaning. Then again, it could be that I just plain ran out of time this weekend and, yeah, those assholes I live with aren't about to pitch in until I throw a big hissy fit. Which I've decided I'm not going to do because that puts me back in the martyr box in which I've stifled many a time, stewing in my own angry juices and taking swigs from a flask filled with Windex.

Bottom line?  We need an Alice, damn it.

So work is interesting. Very. And damn it, again! I can't say much about it. I'm waiting for my official legal briefing so I know for sure what I can and can't say, but for now I have to ixnay on the oliticspay. See, I work for a labor union and we're preparing for contract negotiations and so I'm not allowed to say much. Which means I really shouldn't say anything because then I won't screw up. Well, I'll try not to screw up. I know I won't give up any confidential info, but not doing anything political? Gulp.

Because you know I'm dying to crack wise about grits, right?

Just know work is going well. Today I was trained on how to work the front desk, answering phones and routing them properly and logging them, greeting visitors, buzzing them in and not laughing too much at them when they pull instead of push the glass door. Sounds easy, no? Well, I was no Shelley Winters swimming toward safety, but it wasn't all bad. I got the hang of it. Nevermind the time I tried to route a call to the woman who was training me only to find that when she went to lunch, she left her call forwarding on and the call I couldn't answer was actually me trying to call --- me. At the front desk.

Thankfully, the caller was a patient man who only wanted to ask a question about something that's called deadheading which sounds groovy like psychedelic travels following a band around the country or, at the very least, lopping off the drooping heads of fading flower maidens. But no. It's about seats.

I've had moments when I had to stop and pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I'm actually working for a paycheck again. It's something I'd nearly despaired of. There were other moments when I had to take a step back and remind myself that I really should have gotten out more while I was in layoff limbo because it was a bit overwhelming to be around all those people for such long, uninterrupted periods of time.

Thankfully, I handled it without resorting to huffing into a paper bag or consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Come to think of it, I didn't have a drop. I remained clear of head, steady of hand and fully clothed.  I love a good meeting without a hangover. I ate my fill of fresh fruit and hotel pastries and lost a pound. I tried to be indispensible without being too much muchness. I just want to do a good job and be the kind of employee everyone wants to have around.

It's a fine balance. It's like the difference between cheese grits and cheesy grits.

53 comments:

  1. ....you had me at grit. Also, I had grits this morning.

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    1. Bethany: Were they instant grits? Cheesy grits? Please expand on the grits. Figuratively, not literally, of course.

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  2. You rock, lady. And I can think of no one better suited to work for whom you do.

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  3. need to make grits now, and plan a spring break trip across the Skyway for Waffle House. Damn you!!!! -B

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    1. Brenda, I love being influential in a good way for a change.

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  4. I've eaten my share of grits. Love fried eggs and grits, maneuvering the yolk onto the grits just so. I believe I ate cheese grits in South Carolina once. But I ain't never had no cheesy grits!

    p.s. Clone Alice. And give me one. Please!

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    1. Mmmmm. Shrink, you're talking my language. Hearty breakfast foods and a cloned housekeeper. Yes!

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  5. You are, for sure, the belle of that ball, Mrs. Golden. They are so lucky to have you. Though, we miss you around here...

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    1. Oh, Suzy, you're going to make me cry. I miss you all like crazy. I'm loving the job, but feeling so disconnected from everyone right now.

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  6. Lisa h, c'mannnn give the poor vacuum a break. witty as usual. continue...

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    1. Thanks, tony, from me and the restful vacuum.

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  7. Hey; if we lived in the same town, I would totally be your Alice! I'll bet I can cook better than she, AND I'm a neurotic cleaner! I'm talking toothbrush on the baseboards type of house keeping. ;-)

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    1. kkryno, I so wish you were here. I know you're an excellent cook. A chef, really. Come to Georgia and you'll have my undying gratitude.

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  8. Your positive vibes have reached right across the Atlantic :)

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    1. Hey, Phil! Thank you. I hope you're doing well.

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  9. Love - my vac needs to be tugged too. ;P

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    1. Ha! Our poor vacuums. Why must they suffer such neglect?

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  10. You deserve all of this goodness. Finally, there is justice in the world.

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    1. Thank you, MSB. What a kind thing to say. xo

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  11. Don't tell us a thing! We'll still be here when you can let it all out. Aren't we always here?!? My vacuum was so exhausted he had to be replaced ---- and papa does not like to be replaced by a younger version. But there you go.

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    1. You had to replace your vacuum? I do love shopping for a new one. Which happens more often than it should because of the furry people.

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  12. Thankfully, the caller was a patient man who only wanted to ask a question about something that's called deadheading which sounds groovy like psychedelic travels following a band around the country...

    You don't say!

    ;-)

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    1. thunder, does that psychedelic travel sound good or bad to you? The folks I work for are often pretty high, but it's more physical than existential.

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  13. Can't wait to hear your grit whit.

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    1. Marty, I got my legal briefing which, disappointingly didn't involve hot lawyers in their underpants. Turns out this chick can keep writing about politics. Still I might go back to my old moniker so I can let the tiger out of her cage.

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  14. "just know work is going well"

    that's all I need to know

    My Hoover wouldn't know it if I left for a month...

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    1. That's because Maisie had to go home! ;-)

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    2. Downith, some Hoovers are perfectly happy in a restful state. Mine is soooo high maintenance!

      And what Teri said!

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  15. Hey there employed Lisa. Glad whatever it is you are doing & we know nothing about (that's my story & I'm sticking to it!). All we really need to know is you are working, happy & potentially doing something you love & can wholeheartedly relate to.
    I returned to work for 1 week @ half time hours & my co worker hereby known as Germs McCough came in to work all week Twice just for a few hours before leaving early, sick. Nothing shows your work ethic dedication like coming to work sick as a dog, coughing all over your coworkers & making them sick too. Thanks a lot!
    My lungs were so raspy I feared pneumonia, but tested positive for a bladder infection.
    So now I am taking Cipro antibiotic- which should clear the bladder infection, put the kabosh on pneumonia if indeed that is what was brewing & any potenrtial anthrax exposure. I also learned if you take this antibiotic w dairy, zinc, iron or yogurt it will give you a mean case of the runs. Good to know,

    Was off the weekend plus 2 more days. Should I make a point of coughing in the direction of share-the-sickness lady? I halfway feel like I should repay the "favor". Then again she'd just repeat the come to sick work routine & start this cycle all over again.

    Keeping up a house is a lotta work. Then you add kids & critters.... it becomes exponentially out of control.
    Do you suppose rolling out the Hoover to the middle of the floor (to be tripped over) w a post it attached saying USE ME, would phase anyone, or would they just call you to report the tripping accident & to come meet them in the ER?

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    1. Oh my gosh, Fran, I hope you're finally over that crud. It sounds horrible.

      As for the Hoover in the middle of the room, you're right - they'd ignore it. Hell, they'd probably toss dirty baseball uniforms on it and call it good because at least they bothered to bring them in from the car.

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  16. I love the time change. I feel FULL of energy thanks to the extra SUNLIGHT. Buh-Bye darkness.

    I sure hope your cats DON'T eat Sophie! Smart girl to hide out / sleep in her bedroom behind closed doors.

    And, I do believe I heard your vacuum cleaner crying too.

    I am thrilled work / the new job is going so well for you.

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    1. Mel, isnt' the light wonderful? It was still light when I got home from work tonight. Dark in the morning, but oh well. I can't have everything. Are you still writing at night?

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  17. A secretary, an administrator and a manager are walking through a park on their way to lunch when they find an antique lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.
    The Genie says, 'I usually only grant three wishes, so I'll give each of you just one.'
    'Me first!' says the secretary. 'I want to be in the Bahamas, without a care in the world.' Poof! She's gone.
    'Me next!' says the administrator. 'I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach'. Poof! She's gone.
    'You're next', the Genie says to the manger . The manger says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch'.

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    1. Ha! susan, you nailed it. But here's something cool - once my probationary period is up, I'll be part of the administrative union. That will be a first for me.

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  18. So happy for you and your new job! And your phone story reminds me of when I first got a cell phone, and would try calling it from my office phone (while the cell was right there in my hand) to test something, and then when the cell rang I'd be all shocked, like "Wow who is calling me??" The answer was me, idiot. I was calling myself and FORGOT. Blah.

    Anyway, I'm sure you'll be more successful at your job than I am at just trying to live a daily life. :)

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    1. Laura, I'm glad it's not just me having those Lucy moments. I'm quite confident that you're perfectly capable of getting through your days. Now that I'm back to work, I don't know how you manage a full time job and crank out the excellent and varied writing you do. Plus a blog? Overachiever! xo

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  19. Glad to hear that you like your new job and everyone is adjusting well (except for your poor vacuum cleaner). Hope the job continues to be interesting.

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    1. Thanks, Pissed. Things are ramping up at the office. The phones rang a lot today. I even answered most of them. (Kidding!)

      I think I joined the staff at a really interesting time.

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  20. The temporary grumpiness of the vacuum is an unfortunate side effect of SELLING OUT TO THE MAN.

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    1. Guess what THE MAN gave me today, Randal, my darling.

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  21. My experience says it is going to take the hissy fit to get the house cleaned - number one on my list when I win the lottery is a cleaning service.

    I have never mentioned my blogging at work yet I remain very careful.

    I am shopping for doggie tranquilizers because our old doxie can't handle the hours alone in the house and is getting really weird. Hope the cats handle it better.

    Are you going to buy anything fun with the first paycheck or be responsible and pay down the bills?

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    1. Shoes! Lisa, I think you should buy some shoes that don't hurt your feet, and are not too much of a muchness. You need to treat yourself gently after all those slipper-clad days.

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    2. I'm afraid you're right, Susan. I came very close to a hissy fit last night. I do believe a big family meeting about expectations is necessary very soon.

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    3. Averil, Great idea. I need shoes. I'm down to two work-appropriate pair.

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  22. You are amazing! I loved this post. Glad Sophie survived and stuff the vacuum in the corner - they are so self-centred. How ARE the cats coping? Loved the Poseidon Adventure mornings, and something about Shelley Winters swimming was very alluring. I was entranced by that film and will never go on a cruise.

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    1. Thanks, Cat! The cats seem to be surviving. Possibly plotting. If they had thumbs, I'd be more worried.

      Isn't if funny the effect some movies have on us? We saw The Poseidon Adventure at the drive-in when I was a kid and it stays with me to this day.

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    2. I imagined myself stuck in one of the sinking rooms as everyone else swam away because I could never hold my breath under water for very long.

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  23. M'Dear, working becomes you. Your clarity of appreciation for existence and the words to describe it are a balm to those of us with our feet in our mouths.

    And let the dust-bunnies multiply until your housemates see fit to clean them up. I mean, who the fuck said it was your job to clean up after everyone in the house???

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  24. how did i miss this...i saw the 'enraged' post that seems to have disappeared and popped over....i am glad work is ok...and it is hard to balance everything else when you go back...we went through that with T returning to work last year....and the boys still struggle at times with it...

    and we all have to clean...

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  25. Yep, the first thing you should do with your next paycheck is hire an Alice. You deserve it. Come to think of it, you deserve your own TV show too.

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  26. Yep, the first thing you should do with your next paycheck is get yourself an Alice. You deserve it. Come to think of it, the Golden Gang deserves its own TV show too...

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  27. I cracked up at the image of the vacuum cleaner weeping :).

    I may have similar worries soon now that I'm in a grad program hopefully leading to a teaching position. What with the recent fuss about teachers and facebook. Martin completely deleted his facebook account. I'm wondering whether it's a good idea to have personal information/opinions on the internet in any kind of public facing position.

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And then you say....

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