You, there! Stop That!

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Yesterday was quite an important day for me at work. As a still fairly new employee, I am required to complete a whole list of mandatory training courses and over the past six weeks, in addition to being thrown into the deep end of the pool on work matters, I have been finding every spare minute possible to knock my training items off the list.

Most of the subjects are online courses and can be started and stopped at will, so that helps. There are a few, however, that are required to be taken in person.

Yesterday I had to travel some distance to another building at a far flung campus in order to attend : cue very dramatic music : Safety Training.

Oh yes, I am employed by a very safety minded entity, and that’s actually quite ok. There are lots of people here who perform very dangerous work and making sure those employees are safe and looked after is of vital importance.

However, in the parlance of The Good Man, I pilot a desk for a living. So do the kind souls who are forced to report to me. This means the risk factors tend to drop off dramatically to include things like aggressive paper cuts and oh damn I tripped on the copy machine.

But rules are rules and every manager MUST take this training regardless of function.

So of course about 85% of the training class didn’t apply to me. As I sat there listening to the types of harness that can be used for overhead work and then a hearty debate about whether or not a lab worker should be required to wear safety glasses when looking in a microscope, my well documented monkey-mind took a whole other journey.

I recalled back to the very early years of my employment when I worked for Sandia Labs and as part of employment I had to take both rattlesnake and coyote training. That’s right, we had to learn to spot, avoid and deal with these common inhabitants of the New Mexican desert.

Even though I also piloted a desk back then, rattlesnake training certainly grabbed and held my attention for the duration of the seminar. Today’s detailed dissertation on eye-wash procedures less so.

So then I started thinking about other safety courses that would be fun to take. Advanced crocodile wrestling, perhaps? How about Zip Lining To Freedom for Beginners? Dog Sledding and You: How to remain the leader of the pack? Or…Golden Gate Bridge painting, how to cling to the wires on especially windy days.

C’mon! That’s actual safety! That stuff is not only cool it matters!

No, instead I learned that while typing your wrist can bend to between zero and 25% and you should be ok Carpal Tunnel-wise. More than 25% and I need to fill out a stack of forms and evidently point and taunt. (Ok, not actually on that last part but would that be fun? “Jimmy’s gonna Carpal! Jimmy’s gonna Carpal!”)

Well I can tell you, those two hours of a dry PowerPoint presentation really made a big impact on me. I’m now fully compliant and safety trained. I’ve already warned The Good Man that safety walk around of the apartment is coming soon (surprise inspection, of course). Oh yes, he and The Feline are gonna get inspected real good. “You there! That fuzzy felt mouse with one eye ripped off is just lying in the middle of hallway! Trip hazard!”

A monkey-minded woman with a little bit of knowledge is a very dangerous thing.

Next course: Surviving Life With Karen, a primer for man and beast.









Image from Clay Bennett.




Stumped

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The Imagination Prompt Generator suggests:

Name three reasons why you should get out of bed tomorrow…

1. Um.

2. Errr.

3. I dunno.

And there you have it, ladies and gentleman! Blog post gold.

Ok, ok. I’ll be less of a smart alec and put a little thought into it.

1. Cuz I gotta get paid and they kind of require my shiny little face all up in this place in order to make the cash flow my way. (oooh! Lyrical!)

2. I gotta get up sometime, I guess.

3. A girl’s gotta eat. And The Good Man has requested no eating in bed due to my general messiness and overall crumb production.

You see, I generally don’t bother finding a good reason to get out of bed. There are no good reasons. I don’t wanna get out of bed, I want to find reasons to stay tucked in.

I tend to approach rising from the rack in the same manner as Amarante, the old man in the book (and movie) Milagro Beanfield War.

He rises from his bed all wild haired and crazy eyed and shuffles toward the mirror. At the basin he washes his face then tentatively takes a look in the mirror. If he can see his own reflection, he knows he’s still alive.

Upon seeing his reflection, he grunts and says, “Thank you God, for letting me have another day.”

Then I stumble outside to talk to a New Mexican trickster spirit. Or, barring that, climb on BART and go to work.

Tomorrow is another day and I’m still stumped for reasons why I would want to get out of bed.






Image from Apartment Therapy.




Things I Do Not Understand

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I’ve been on this big blue marble for a good number of years, and as I get older, some things make more sense, some make less sense, and then there are a few things I think I’ll never quite understand.

Last week was what I would call brutal. Ok, maybe brutal is too strong a word. My basic needs were met. My loved ones remained safe and sound, and also had their basic needs met. I got to and from work safely and even got paid.

But something really weird was happening last week. It all seemed to come to a head on Friday which is normally the greatest day of the week. A normal Friday flies by with ease from my late arrival to my early departures at work. If they call it stormy Monday, then the eagle flies on Friday.

Not this Friday. It didn’t soar like an eagle, it plopped like a cow patty.

Arriving at work in the morning I was bone tired. Sleep had not come easy over the previous four days. As I trudged to my desk I could only look forward to a happy hour birthday celebration that evening, then early to bed, and hopefully sleeping late on Saturday.

I had only one meeting on the calendar so I’d hoped to use the day to catch up, get on top of my to do list, and prepare for the week ahead.

Friday had other plans. Early in the day I was summoned to the manager’s office and informed that a particular project we’ve been working on has completely unraveled. Like…the thread on the sweater was inadvertently glued to the tail of a frightened rabbit thus unraveling not slowly but quickly and in herky-jerky motions.

As we were suddenly pulled into crisis mode, I was running around the office looking for certain people, finding certain documents, etc. As I sat in the manager’s office on yet another conference call, I noticed a small sparkling at the periphery of my eyes. Oh yay, an aura, the beginnings of one whopper of a migraine. Awesome.

Crisis mode + migraine + exhausted body + I’m still new here! = what a crummy day!

But wait! The day wasn’t done with me yet. Like a pitbull it clamped down with powerful jaws and refused to release.

I shot gunned some lunch as I ran to another meeting and another conference call and when that exhausting bit of work was through, I noticed something odd about my mouth. I had grit on my tongue. Oh awesome, I broke a tooth and still don’t even know how that happened. There is a huge chunk out of a back molar. Like a good little grownup I immediately called my dentist’s office and heard their message telling me that my favorite dental professional is out of the office until March 8th. Hooray!

Thankfully the tooth doesn’t hurt (so far) but it’s kind of sharp and annoying.

Finally, Friday saw fit to come to the end of daytime hours and around 5:00pm I got into my car feeling beaten, broken and sad. My office building is very near a crossroads of three separate highways, so getting onto the highway is always a little rough, and I have to endure about half a mile of cruddy traffic before I pick the highway I need and it opens up. Friday was particularly backed up and I’d not really ever seen it so bad.

Until I realized that a car had stalled right in the heart of the big interchange. In a location that impacted EVERYONE regardless of which highway they need to take. Double yay!

Let me remind, here, that this was just the details of Friday. The first four days of the week had been similar, so in the commute home on the last day of this hellish week, I found myself stuck behind a tow truck and of course no one would let me over. Honestly, I just about slipped off my nut. I came real close to just finally losing my tenuous grasp on reality.

I kept telling myself to breathe, to endure, to be resilient even as my resolve was being worn down by the big belt sander of life (which happened to be using the heaviest grit sandpaper available).

Quadruple Yay.

When I posted something on Facebook about Friday being a crummy day, I got responses from a few folks saying they had a bad day too. When I talked to friends at happy hour, they too said that Friday was especially bad.

What I’ll never understand is how this happens. How we all can be going along just fine then suddenly we all, every one of us, gets thrown a curveball low and inside.

I’m not much for big woo-woo type things, but is it something cosmic? The full moon and Mercury Retrograde and changing seasons all at once? Is the jet stream a little off kilter? Is it the long road until the next holiday day at work that has us all a little bent out of shape?

Hard to know, but I sure as heck don’t understand. A few people having a bad day seems pretty fat part of the bell curve kind of stuff. Everyone you talk to having a crumb-bum day seems like that cosmic belt sander is really working overtime.







Image by Wikimedia user Luigizanasi and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Canada license.