The 9 to 5

I got the boot!

After weeks of “running through the pain,” it finally happened: stress fracture in my left foot during my lunchtime jog through Downtown, D.C. There was no more avoiding it. I had to limp my way back to my office and call for backup.

Enter: the walking boot.

Obviously, that’s not the end of the world. Getting the MRI results that it was definitely a stress fracture was hard to swallow. Finding out that I had to walk in this darn thing for 6-8 weeks MINIMUM, that was a punch in the gut. What stung the most, if only momentarily, was the teasing and taunting from complete strangers. I give you three scenarios:

The child: I can’t lie, some of the ‘shock and awe’ was actually cute. For example, I was shopping for groceries when I walked toward a toddler who was singing and dancing in the bread aisle. He was really getting into the song until he saw me and stopped dead in his tracks, middle of the aisle, to stare at me with his mouth wide open waiting for flies to go in. He’s a child so I smiled and excused myself to pass. He wasn’t having that. He stood there with arms and legs wide open, as if to halt me from passing. He stared at the boot then he looked up at me – mouth still agape. What got me was that his mother did nothing. She turned around, looked at me, looked at the boot and turned back around at the tough decision ahead of her – white or wheat bread. My smile faded, I looked at the little m’fer and moved my way past his little arms. That mom definitely missed a teaching moment.

The adult: YoThe Bootu would think adults have more sense; this guy didn’t. “Who won?” That was his question. Funny. My response, “not me.” I guess I can’t blame him. He couldn’t know it was my first day commuting to work with the damn boot and I was having a hard time adjusting. My frustration level was through the roof. So he continued, “How’d it happen?” I explained my jogging situation briefly in the elevator and he says, “Jogging? You’re going to have to come up with something better than that.” The rest of my day was filled with other adults trying to be funny and I couldn’t even be mad at it. They were trying to turn a negative situation around. I guess I should thank them?

The teenager: The worst of the bunch because being cruel to other people is the cool thing to do. I was leaving work and as I walked down the National Mall towards an intersection, I saw some teens already waiting at the corner. I suddenly had a bad feeling. I get to the corner just as the light is changing and I can cross the street; so I proceed. That’s when I heard the teens suddenly laughing from behind. I didn’t have to turn around to know that one of them was walking right behind me, mocking my limp. They were all laughing and one of the girls says, “You’re exaggerating. She isn’t walking THAT bad.” Real nice. I’m not the type of person to turn around and make a big scene about something like that, so I kept it moving. I would have been fine except I came upon 2 more people on a bench who felt the need to yell, “NICE BOOT! WHERE CAN I GET ONE?” *le sigh*

I’m into my 4th week lugging this thing around and the only thing that actually bothers me is the fact that my puppy can’t enjoy a fast-paced walk or that I can’t play WITH my kids at the indoor trampoline park. Otherwise, I am blessed because this is just another short chapter in my life. I’ll be back to kicking ass in no time!

The Benadryl Effect

“I’d like to see if we can manage to move the meeting from Tuesday to Thursday.”

It’s roughly 2 pm, I’m at work reading an email from one of my bosses, and I’m having a hell of a time comprehending that sentence. You went back and read it again, didn’t you? That’s okay.  You aren’t missing anything. There isn’t anything wrong. It was the Benadryl.

It’s been about a year since I had my first allergic reaction to something I ate. I had to ask my daughter to call 911 since I was unfamiliar with what I was experiencing. Sidebar – I feel really bad for anyone who is single and in need of medical attention like I was that day.  Chances are, you’ll have a very good looking EMT/paramedic come and see you in a red, swollen, hive-ridden, gasping for air to breath state. Anyway, we couldn’t pinpoint what the allergy was attributed to, so I now keep a food journal and carry an Epi-Pen. *shiver* I break out in a sweat around needles as it is. I sure hope someone around me won’t have a problem stabbing me in the leg, if the need arises.

In the first eight months after my initial reaction, I would have about one allergy outbreak a month and they were nowhere near what I had the first time, so I didn’t do anything about it but endure the itchiness for a half hour or so. The foods ranged from Five Guys fries to a ham sandwich to the yummy eats from Roti to simple broccoli and cheddar soup. In the winter, the allergy attacks came more frequently and started to intensify. My food journal was telling me that one contributing factor was probably going to be some kind of pepper, which sucks because I LOOOOOOOOVE spicy food.

Removing peppers and spicy food from my diet wasn’t my only problem. I’m allergic to something else because I’m still breaking out at work after lunch. That means I need to start taking Benadryl to deal with the symptoms, which I had been avoiding like the plague. Unfortunately, nothing works like Benadryl, or as fast (I need to get paid for that endorsement).  Benadryl makes me extreeeeeemly sleepy, to the point that I have no control over it and I just fall asleep; stick a fork in me – I’m done. I couldn’t keep going home when I broke out in hives, either, so I gave in and started taking one or two pills when I REALLY needed to (obviously the attacks weren’t so bad that I needed my Epi-Pen, but they were bad enough that I was red and swollen and itchy from the hives).  So, now what?

Well, now I need to fight the effects of Benadryl so I can actually function while I am still at work. What a daunting task that has proven to be (see sentence at the start of this post). I must have read that sentence 10 times after taking two Benadryl 30 minutes earlier. The hangup was the word “manage”. I was a like a first grader learning how to read it for the first time. I simply couldn’t pronounce it.

mah-nage

mé-nage

meh-nag-e

Those are just 3 of the ways I tried to pronounce the word – no lie! None of those words made any sense, at least I knew that much. So my half sleeping brain decided that I would just skip that word and read the rest of the sentence to try and use my context clues to figure out what the word meant. I almost asked my cubemate to read the sentence to me but the pronunciation suddenly clicked: man-age

And then I laughed….for a long time. I went through a brief moment of insanity as I laughed at how simple the word was and how crazy it was that I had such a hard time reading it. Even as I write this, I am amazed at how serious that drug is, but I need it.  Not every situation calls for the Epi-Pen and for that, I am thankful.  Now, if only I could figure out what I am allergic to, exactly. This guessing game is getting old. 🙂

 

Getting Cozy at Cosi

Getting to work early for nothing; can’t even get in the damn building without my key card….which is at home.  Awesome. — feeling annoyed.

Yep, that’s how my morning started.  Lovely.  Since it was so early in the morning and my brain wasn’t fully awake, the true consequences of forgetting my “key card” weren’t all apparent to me, yet.  Ah, but it didn’t take long.

It’s snowing this morning; nothing crazy that would call for a federal government delay or anything, but enough that I had to clear off my car and drive slower than usual because nobody knows how to drive on slick pavement (i’m okay with that).  I didn’t exactly prepare for the snow either, because today I’m wearing a dress.  Naturally, I didn’t want my legs to be too, too cold, so I left the house with a long coat on instead of my usual jacket.  No hat. No umbrella. I’m not a wuss!!  A few snow flakes on my head isn’t going to kill me, right?  So, I get to the slug line and, yeah, now i’m irritated that I didn’t have a hat or umbrella while I wait for a car to give me a ride.  That, was stupid mistake #1.  In this I-actually-AM-a-wuss-who-doesn’t-want-to-stand-in-this-snow-shower mental state, I decide it’s a good idea to get in the first car that can get me into town and then i’ll just take the Metro, if I have to.  Welp, L’Enfant Plaza, here I come!  My [warm] happy butt is all bucked in and, oh wait, no key card also means no Metro SmartTrip card because they are together on the same chain. Come on man!!  Now I have to PAY for a paper card and that means an extra $1 for the trip because the Metro doesn’t like paper cards and wants to charge you an extra dollar for it!  I digress…..That was stupid mistake #2.  I’m not doing so hot, and it’s too early for this.

I make it to my office and, since it’s so early, there’s no one around that can actually give me a temporary card for the day.  That would be fine if there was somewhere I could sit in the lobby of the building and wait, but there isn’t.  I have a good 45 minutes before someone does come in so, instead of dwelling on the 1.25 hours that I could be getting paid, I decide to go and get some breakfast because i’ll be damned if I have to endure this pissed-offness without a cup of coffee. Off I go to the Cosi that’s next door.

Sidebar – here’s a little morsel of information about me, i’m one of those ‘your day is what you make of it’/’turn lemons into lemonade’/’there’s always a silver lining’ kinda people because I’ve learned that there is just WAYYYYY too much energy spent on being angry and “ugly” (not physically, just being an ugly-personality person).

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Drinking classy coffee – PINKIES UP!

Cosi is practically empty when I walk in which is nice because they have these comfortable-looking cushion arm chairs that I have always wanted to sit in so I could feel like I was in the Monsterpiece Theater with Cookie Monster.  #grownupkid  I am starting to feel better about the morning’s situation as I decide this will be nice to come, relax, get cozy in the armchair, read up on the news without any hurry, eat breakfast, and have a nice coffee.  So I do just that.  🙂

Here’s the setup: two arm chairs next to each other at an angle, storefront window behind me, oblong coffee table in front of me, one regular table chair on the other side of the coffee table; i’m facing the cafe and everybody who walks in and out.  I’m actually loving this alone time, as you can see. (This is the lemons into lemonade part.)

I had already decided that i’m going to sit there until 8 am when I know for sure that someone will be in the office to give me a temporary key card for the day.  So there I am; breakfast done, news absorbed, enjoyed some people watching, and now i’m watching this Pharrell Williams video that someone posted about on FB.

Then….along comes a man, late 40’s maybe?  He pulls out the chair across from me and decides to sit down.  He doesn’t say a word so, in my cheerful voice, I say, ‘GOOD MORNING!’ and I smile.  He doesn’t say anything.  So I go back to watching my video.  He puts down an apple, a newspaper, a red bandanna, a piece of old tissue, and he begins to take off his jacket.  In doing so, he scoots the chair closer to me so it’s right next to me.  Now we’re getting a little TOO cozy.  He leans back to relax and begins eating his apple.  I think, maybe he wants conversation?  So, I ask him how he’s doing.  He doesn’t say anything; he kind of looks at me, but there are no words.  I look back to my phone where i’m watching the video and I see that it’s now 8:06 am.  Oh, great, it’s time to go.  I feel a little guilty leaving him there because i’m sure it seems like a coincidence that he has sat down and now i’m leaving, but I had to leave.  He wasn’t talking to me anyway.  So I gather my things, I get up and I say, “Okay, well have a good one.”  He watches me get up and leave with this “why are you talking to me” look on his face.  No words ever escaped his mouth.  What the heck was that about?  “Look Bub, you sat down at MY table.  There were plenty of other seats in this place for you to sit.  Don’t look at me like i’m the odd one here.”  SHEESH!  I kid, I kid…..

Oh well, maybe i’ll see him again and he’ll say something next time.  Either way, I have decided to continue making my day a good one despite 2 more things going wrong, but who’s counting, and you should, too!  Have a great Wednesday y’all!  🙂

The things I do for work – Part 2

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  You may or may not be able to tell from my last post that I don’t mind doing little side “jobs” for my boss(es) because at this point in my life at the office, it actually keeps things interesting.  Yesterday was no exception.  

THE OATMEAL INCIDENT:  So, I get a call in the morning from the boss and it goes like this:

Boss: Have you been to the cafeteria yet?
Considering his past requests, this is a new one, so i’m unsure how to respond with anything other than the truth.
Me: Um, yes?
Boss: Oh….I was going to ask if you could get me some oatmeal if you hadn’t gone down yet…..
I’m pretty sure this is still a request to get breakfast for him, so I give in.
Me: I can still get that for you.
Boss: Oh, can you? Great! I can give you some money and then you can take the $1.25 out that I owe you from the soda that you got me yesterday.

I can’t help but smile because, quite frankly, I had already forgotten about the $1.25 and, since there was no additional comment about the soda, that probably means it DIDN’T explode like I thought it would.  So, I mosey into his office, get the money, asked if he wanted a large or small size – he wants small and he adds that he wants a scoop of brown sugar.  Off I go to the cafe.  

As i’m getting his oatmeal a co-worker starts chatting me up.  The conversation wasn’t anything deep, but i’m so ADD that I turn on the autopilot for the oatmeal task and focus on the conversation.  Blah, blah, blah, healthy eating, blah, blah, blah (healthy eating being the topic of lots of conversations in the cafeteria for me, but that’s another post for another day).  In my attempt at multi-tasking, I suddenly realize that I am no longer scooping large spoonfuls of lumpy oatmeal into the small cup.  No, sir, I’ve made it over to the “toppings” section of the cafe where i’m scooping rather large spoonfuls of brown sugar onto the oatmeal.  Once I realized, it was kind of too late.  Conversation – OVER!!  I put down the spoon of brown sugar that I was ready to drop in, and I examined the bowl to decide whether I would toss that one and make a new one or scoop some of the sugar out or just take it to him the way it is.  

To put things in perspective, this is the same man that happened to be making his tea at the same time that I made my coffee and when he saw me put 3 packets of Splenda in my coffee, he about had a heart attack.  “3 packets? WWWWWWOW!  Do you know what that is? Have you heard of the health risks behind using so much of it? How does it make you feel?” and it kind of went on and on as he schooled me on Splenda.  To this day, I only use one packet in my coffee which may or may not have anything to do with the conversation we had and cutting down to one packet didn’t happen overnight.  

Anyway, so to put so much brown sugar in his oatmeal, just made me dread and wonder what kind of lecture I was going to receive.  I didn’t want to waste the oatmeal, so I attempted to scoop some of the brown sugar out before it melted into molasses.  I think I succeeded, somewhat, but this is still definitely way more than he ever uses on a regular basis.  

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So, again, i’m troubled with the question, ‘How do I tell him that there might be TOO much sugar in it?’  I hate making mistakes, like anyone else, so it bothered me that I haphazardly made his breakfast.  Oh well.  He’ll either like it or he won’t like it.  I paid for the oatmeal, took out my $1.25 from the change, and made my way upstairs before it got cold.  I told him that I hoped that it wasn’t too much sugar, he thanked me and that was that.  He ended up leaving early because he wasn’t feeling well – hopefully the oversugar’ed oatmeal didn’t have anything to do with that sickening feeling.  *sigh*

And I know what you’re thinking, the answer is no, even if I made it wrong it will not stop him from asking me again in the future.  I’ll just accept my pleasant lecture on how he actually likes it, and make it right the next time.  😉

The things I do for work – PART 1

I totally get that people have all kinds of odd jobs they do for their bosses on a regular basis and i’m not one to compare or say that what I’m doing is any better or worse, or however you want to look at it.  So, I have a boss that has his own funny way of asking me to do/get something for him, which I don’t mind doing, but sometimes they come with some [in]direct accusations, commentary, or quasi-PSA.

THE SODA INCIDENT.  I get a call from the boss yesterday and the conversation goes like this:

Boss: Do you have change for a $5?
Sidebar – I NEVER have change when he asks me and he asks on an almost daily basis, which makes me wonder why he constantly asks at all.
Me: No, i’m sorry, I don’t.
Boss: Oh, hmm……………*this silence felt like forever*…..
Me: (as if talking to a child): Are you thirsty?
Boss: Yeaaaaahhh, I kinda wanted a Coke Zero.
Me: Well, I have $1.25, I can at least get that for you.
Boss:  Great!!

I go to get the soda, and it’s actually a traumatizing experience to have to get his soda on a daily basis because a couple of years ago he actually accused me of shaking his soda before I delivered it.  He didn’t accuse me in a horrible, mean way, he just halfway joked and said, “hey, did you shake that soda?  It exploded when I opened it.”  I was so shocked and embarrassed that he would actually think i’d do that.  ME?!!!  Ever since that day, I have taken so much care in making sure that his soda doesn’t even land when it comes out of the vending machine.  I put my hands in there to “soften” the fall and everything!

Anyway, I go to get the soda and run through my routing of catching the soda as it comes down, but it feels hard – like it’s been shaken and is ready to explode.  NOOOOOOO!!! This can’t be happening!  I actually debate on buying another one and giving him the better of the two, but then again, what am I going to do with the other soda? So now, on my walk back to his office, I pray that he isn’t on the phone so I can tell him that he needs to give it a minute before he opens it…but what if he is on the phone? How am I going to tell him using hand gestures that he needs to wait?  Ugh!  My nightmares are becoming reality!  Okay, not really, but it did worry me for a half second.

Thankfully, he wasn’t on the phone.  I gave him his soda, he thanked me, and I told him to give it a few minutes because it felt solid and ready to blow, to which he responded with an ‘okay’.  It wasn’t a thankful okay, it was kind of like the okay that you get when someone hasn’t heard what you said and they are just agreeing with you.  The problem was, I was already halfway out the door by the time I remembered that he doesn’t hear very well and his hearing aid was on his desk………………..

Oh well, I did my part.  At least if it exploded I could say, with a clear conscience, “You didn’t hear me tell you to give it a minute?!”  🙂