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Weakest Link

I am using a vacation day today to try to catch up on my craziness and also because I have several days to use up before the end of the year. As it turned out, it was a good thing that I picked today, because Esteban was coughing all night. The man does nothing in a small way. There is no delicate little ahem from him. No. Instead he hacks and coughs and breeches up into a sitting position and then falls back over when the fit has passed. And he did this every five minutes, despite double dosing with Ny-Quil (or rather Wal-Quil or some other store brand, which is probably why it didn’t work, as real Ny-Quil will kick your ass. People who have dared to take two doses of real Ny-Quil have still not woken from their comas. Ny-Quil does not need a prop) and drinking four hundred ounces of fluids throughout the day. Finally, he gave up at five and took a shower, which allowed me to try to cram all eight hours of sleep into what was left of my normal sleep pattern. This is the only reason that I was able to sleep until 8 am rather than my normal 5:30 am. Upon waking, I informed him that if he didn’t call and get a doctor’s appointment, I was going to call and make it for him and then ridicule him for being a big baby. So he did and hopefully will get some kind of lovely pharmecutical cocktail and I will be able to get a decent night’s sleep tonight.

Also, we’ve learned just how bad our old windows were. I used to sleep with two pillows on my side of the bed, which is directly below a window. I would stuff one pillow up against the wall to block against the cold. As soon as it hit 20 degrees, I had to sleep in yoga pants and lumberjack socks. After the new windows, the house was noticably warmer, so we reinstated the smart thermostat and allowed the temperature to drop into the low sixties last night. Even with the temperature drop, I slept without the down comforter most of the night. I grew up in too many old drafty houses to be comfortable sleeping at such a hospitable temperature. All night I kept throwing my pillow around, searching for the cool spot, except that there wasn’t one. That’s just not right. I mean, isn’t the cool spot on a pillow a law of nature?

Almost unbelievably, my annoying coworker still managed to annoy me today. I had a day off scheduled next Wednesday, but I started thinking about it and decided that I’d rather have off on Monday to shop when the stores were less likely to be crowded, and then work all day on Wednesday. I knew that she had a half-day on Monday, but I didn’t know if my Norwegian coworker would be there all day, so I called to see if it would be ok with him if I left him alone on Monday. He didn’t answer his phone. Instead of being intelligent and trying later, I called her.

Weetabix : Hi, it’s me.
A.C. : Hey!
Weetabix : Had any Wall Street stuff today?
A.C. : Not a peep. It’s been very quiet.
Weetabix : Good! I’m just calling to see if it’s ok with you guys if I switch my day off from Wednesday to this Monday. I figure that the stores will be less crowded on Monday.
A.C. : Wednesday? I didn’t know you’re off on Wednesday.
Weetabix : I am. It should be on the calendar? Didn’t I mark it?
A.C. : Oh, the day before Christmas you’re off.
Weetabix : Yes, on Thursday, but also on Wednesday.
A.C. :It says ‘Weetabix ‘ Off’ but it doesn’t say what you’re taking.
Weetabix : It’s for comp time on carrying a beeper and also for working that Friday afternoon when everyone else had off.
A.C. : Oh, I see. Half a day.
Weetabix : No, a whole day. Four hours for the beeper and four hours for that Friday thing.
A.C. : But you already used your beeper time for your class this week?
Weetabix : No, that was general comp time this week from overtime.
A.C. : What about the 7th? I thought that was for the beeper, right?
Weetabix : No’ I didn’t carry the beeper until this week, so I wouldn’t take the time off before I actually earned the time.
A.C. : But..what did you use then, if it wasn’t the beeper?
Weetabix : I change my hours around to make up the time. As I’ve been doing since September. The comp usage is the exception.
A.C. : But, you worked normal hours this week?
Weetabix : Yes, and again, used regular flex this week. Look, it all works out, ok? I’m not trying to SCREW anyone. My God! Look, I’ll call back and talk to Nils later. Good Bye.

Christ, aside from the fact that we’re salaried and supposedly professionals and she is a peer and not my boss, you’d think this was somehow any of her business. But it isn’t. She’s the same person who got all up in my face about having to go to physical therapy, even though I was using my lunch hour for the sessions. Not to mention, I completely ignore the fact that she is gone from her desk for twenty minute smoke breaks six times a day and often doesn’t answer her phone calls or makes long personal calls while I am covering for her. She’s the same one that grilled me upon whether or not our employer would reimburse me for class tuition and when I feigned ignorance, quizzed my boss while I was gone. And then there was the day after that when she hissed ‘You’re not going to take another class, are you?’, like I was considering the legalized murder of puppy dogs. It also should be noted here that her client is exceptionally high maintenance and needy while I have worked hard to be proactive and make my clients happy, therefore they are now quiet as church mice. One third of the issues I solve are actually hers, whereas on a normal afternoon when I am gone, if she gets two issues of mine, it would be an extraordinary day.

I had called her while I was driving to Target and then proceeded to stomp around the store irritated until I was able to shop it off. (Citibank and Target Corp. would like to take this moment to offer their thanks to my annoying coworker) Then, I got home and was making evening plans with Esteban when the phone rang. He answered it and then handed it to me with a puzzled look on his face.

It was the annoying coworker. ‘Just wanted to let you know that I talked with Nils and he said that it’s fine with him if you switch your days. I didn’t know if you forgot to call back or what,’ she bubbled.

‘Oh, thank you for calling. No, I was on my way to the store when I called you and I just got back. I was just about to send him an email.’

‘Well, now you don’t have to! So it should be fine!’ she giggled nervously.

‘Great’ ok, have a good weekend,’ I said, polite as a saint. And the Academy Award goes to’.

I think she knew that she had been inappropriate and was trying to make up for it. I am fully willing to award points for effort. However, is it wrong that I sort of feel good for finally calling her out? If that’s not wrong, is it wrong that I sort of want to announce at work that I’ve received my tuition reimbursement check and was pleased to note that they had also reimbursed me for the mileage to and from school and gave me per diem, even though that would be a big obnoxious lie, just because I want to see if steam actually does start coming out an angry person’s ears? Because that would be really cool.

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