I met with some friends for lunch yesterday; as seems to be somehow required for me lately, what should have been a very, very simple, normal, usual-and-customary break in the middle of a working day turned into some kind of 27,000-page epic odyssey, in which our heroes had to battle twelve-headed monsters, spear-throwing natives, a couple gods and a sea monster.
Because there must always be a sea monster.
I had two different people at work trying to spackle meetings over other meetings. I had one person freaking out because I wasn’t in this meeting while another one was telling me to stop, um, doing my job. And then another person told that person to go climb a pole because if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done, period. (Meanwhile, I’m telling both of them to go climb a pole because neither of them was the boss of me or what I did or didn’t do, work-wise.)
And this person is having a panic attack because she needs me to do her job for her or it won’t get done. And another person is waiting for me to approve his work so that he can move on to the next step. And this guy is sitting there staring at me, waiting for me to…wait…well, actually, I can’t remember what it was he wanted, but, somehow, it was waiting on me.
AND THEN, I get a weird call that would neither connect, nor disconnect. AND THEN another one from Eldest, who had snuck outside to make the call from her (illegal during school hours) cell phone to tell me she was being sent home sick. Hilarity ensues, because we can’t get hold of Vanessa the Great and both the husband and I are in the city, soooo, nobody can come get her…so for the first time ever, a Denizen walked home sick from school alone.
Yeah. I was fine with it. Uh-huh. Noooooo problem. (Except that I was screaming and clawing up the walls the whole time.)
About the only thing in my life yesterday that wasn’t being all high-maintenance were my friends, who were even gracious enough to pretend I wasn’t fiddling around with my phone at lunch like some kind of class-impaired twit.
That afternoon, as Thing 327 was going up in flames, my phone practically vibrating itself off the car seat while I was driving back to the Den from the second pharmacy (…yeah…that kinda day yesterday, naturally the first pharmacy was out of TheraFlu…), I found myself wondering how it was that I had managed to grow less wise in my adult years than I was as a kid.
See, when I was a kid, I was a classic underachiever. I frustrated my parents no end with my stubborn refusal to excel at stuff; they knew I had the wherewithal, but they couldn’t ever seem to get anything higher than a C average out of me.
And, true confessions: it was actually on purpose. Just like they thought.
I remember learning, very early on, that the reward one got for being spectacular at pretty much anything was…more, and harder, work.
And more frequent scoldings for not continuing to excel, no matter how much harder work was dumped on you.
This is not hard math to do, folks. I believe it was second grade when I realized that being patted on the head and given a cold slice of pizza during an awkward luncheon with the principal (because what kid doesn’t live for that, am I right?!) was the benefit, but mountains of additional homework and my parents constantly circling around me demanding to know in what reality I thought an A- was acceptable, I MEAN, REALLY, YOU ARE CAPABLE OF SO MUCH BETTER…eeeeeyeah.
So I didn’t really try. I’d sit around waiting for the bell to ring, and whenever I was in danger of going too far the other way – where lay things like detention and summer school – I would pull off some “miraculous” save (read: I would actually answer more things correctly on the tests and/or turn in a few pages of homework here and there) and get myself back to the ultra-average place that was so comfortable.
When did I forget this crucial information?! Why do I not spend more time just sitting there with some blank, idiotic expression on my face, so that people go, “Ya know, on second thought, let’s have so-and-so take that, shall we…?”
I should so totally start taking longer to do stuff. And while I’m at it, do less stuff.
That would solve everything, don’t you think?!
Today, I finally got the main account loading process – the Really Big Ugly part of the last thing I’m working on so frantically – to actually work.
Against the, um, like, 2% sample of data that was actually successfully loaded into the new testing environment…so, I know it works functionally, but whether or not it will continue to work well when we’re back up to 100% data, whether it will be faster or slower, all that kind of stuff…no idea, really.
Only theories, probably and maybe, should and ought to and I’d expects.
Eh, well. Nothing I can do about it – their delays aren’t anything I could have done a thing about, really.
In a lot of ways, we’re just lucky we finally got enough together for me to get these initial passes working again.
I wonder what I’ll be doing next.
I’m kind of looking forward to finding out.
And also to getting a little more sleep.
That…will be awfully nice…
P. J. O'Rourke
1 day ago