Monday, September 14, 2015

Mondays are a Real M*F*R Sometimes


Mondays are great, aren’t they?

My 5am alarm vibrates against my wrist. I get out of bed and start to make my way to the bathroom (without my glasses….pretty typical) so I can do my morning business, grab my treadmilling gear, and take it back to my room so I can get dressed to huff and puff and sweat to an episode of Grace& Frankie. As I pass the closed door of the boy’s room, I see the light on and I hear him talking to himself…and the conversation doesn’t sound pleasant. I knock, enter, and ask what’s going on. I immediately smell Nature’s Miracle, and before I could ask, he tells me that Oli peed on the floor, while he was at the gym. I ask him what he’s doing and I squint (without my glasses on,
I have the vision of an aged mole in bright sunlight) and kind of make out that he’s sitting on his bed with some papers in front of him. Oh yeah…the medical history questionnaire he has to complete to take with him for his physical – today. You know, the packet of forms that I printed out for him five days ago. The same packet of forms that I asked him, no less than a dozen times this weekend, to not wait ‘til the last minute to fill out. And, of course, he doesn’t “get” them; they don’t make any sense and they’re dumb, so dumb. This is most likely because he hasn’t gotten a lot of sleep and he’s already annoyed from a series of events this early morning that were beyond his control. So I get my glasses from my room (I can SEE!), go back into his room, and sit down to help. And he’s being particularly short-tempered and snippy, which doesn’t make it easy to help him.

We get through the paperwork and by that time, the small bit of motivation I’d had to walk on the treadmill dwindled and dried up like a sad little cherry tomato that fell behind the kitchen table, forgotten about until the cat drags it out to play with. I look at my watch (which also happens to be my FitBit…irony, part 1) and I see that – if I wanted – I could lie back down for an hour and a half.

I lay down in bed, reset my alarm for 7am, pull up the covers, and shut my eyes. Cue Georgeanne. Georgeanne is one of my cats. She is almost 17 years old and had developed a love of singing at inappropriate times (the experts refer to it as “excessive vocalization,” and it can mean a lot of different things, medically speaking). Of course she decides to shout it out just as I decide I’d like to catch a few more zzzzz, of course. I yell at her a few times to shut up, which sometimes works. After the fourth chorus, I decide to just get up and do the damn treadmill anyway. I grab my glasses (again) and disconnect my phone from the charger…and see that it’s 6:58. Well, there goes that idea.

I navigate my morning commute across the hall and power on my work computer. I typically do this in stages as I’m preparing to start my work day at 7:30 a.m. This allows the old girl (the computer, not me) to boot up, and I don’t have to sit there staring at it while it chugs along. I pop back into the office after five or so minutes to log on (a dual-step process), and then I go let the dogs out. I peek into the office around 7:15 and see that the computer is still only at the “Welcome” start-up screen. That’s odd. I remember that there was a program update over the weekend that I neglected to stay connected to the network for, and I supposed that it could be bogging things down (note that I am not an IT person so that is probably not even a thing that could happen). I finally have my breakfast together and sit down at my work desk at 7:28 a.m. The dual 17” monitors are still welcoming me while spinning its little blue ring; so let out a heavy sigh, roll my eyes, and call the Help Desk.

Working for a huge corporate conglomerate, you can never be too sure what you’re going to get when you call the Help Desk. I really prefer to either report a tech issue online, or use their handy Live Chat feature. Since I couldn’t even get to my desktop, let alone connect to the network, I had no choice but to call. After a brief recording describing the top system outage, I was informed by a friendly-sounding woman (another automated voice) that my expected wait time is 201 minutes. Folks…that is not a type-o…two-hundred-and-one minutes. That’s about 3 hours and 21 minutes, if you're counting. Well, that’s not very helpful, Help Desk Robot Woman. As I sit on hold, I hear the magical sounds of the computer finally getting over itself, and I land on my desktop around 7:45 a.m. Things then seemed to be running, albeit slowly, so I threw caution to the wind and hung up the phone, knowing I’d lose my place in the long hold queue. What the hell…I live a life of danger; I run with scissors.

As I’m going through my email, viewing my daily calendar, and trying to organize my day, I see Olimar out of the corner of my eye sitting in the middle of the office, ears hanging low, and he’s shaking. That can only mean a handful of things:
  • He’s just had a bath, and he’s chilly.
  • He just got in trouble and has been scolded.
  • He has to pee.
  • He’s about to toss his doggie cookies. 

My knees creak and my thigh muscles threaten to seize up as I squat down to clean up the large pile of his barely-digested serving of breakfast kibble. I start to wonder if I can afford to quit my job, sell my house and car, and just backpack across the country. (I recently watched Reese Witherspoon in Wild, which is a really great movie.) It seemed like a good idea in the moment. Maybe just one of those tiny houses, somewhere off the grid….but with Wi-Fi.

Alright, back to work. I find out from a couple of co-workers that the start-up issue is something that others are experiencing, too. There is an open case for it on the Help Desk’s home page, and it encourages you to add your workstation to the ticket if you’re
experiencing the issues. So I clicked on the simple, one-click button to add myself to the ticket. Then I clicked on the button to confirm that, yes, I wished to add myself to the ticket. And then I got a pop-up message that there was an error with my request, and I should call the Help Desk to report it. The irony was strong this morning. I tried to keep my good humor about me as I went on with my work day. The struggle was real.

So this is 40? That got me to thinking, with today’s life expectancy, what is considered the top of “the hill?” You know, as in just before you’re considered “over the hill.” I know it’s typically when you turn 50, but seriously, who’s living to 100 these days? I’m just wondering because “over the hill” sounds great! I mean, doesn’t that colloquialism mean that once you reach that point in your life everything is so easy and carefree and joyous, like a basket of kittens and hundred dollar bills? “Over the hill,” because the journey down the hill is much easier than the climb up the hill. Right? That’s what that means, right? Why is everyone laughing?
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