The Mad Scramble

The alarm was set. I swear to God. But the volume was turned down.

I rolled over and looked at the clock an hour later. “Oh, Sh**!!!!!!”

“You’re here???” dear husband said. He had just been thinking how impressed he was that I’d managed to get ready for work and leave without waking him up.

I ran around the house, leaping over dogs and trying to figure out what to do. I did a fairly accurate imitation of one of those squirrels who sees a car bearing down on him, and can’t decide which way to run. At one point I was wearing my husband’s glasses, and wondering why I couldn’t see. I vaguely recall running into several rooms for no apparent reason.

I couldn’t figure out how to use my phone. My brain does not thrive on these abrupt transitions. I knew I had to call someone, but who?

I called my coworker as I rushed into the bathroom. “How long will it take you to get here?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know! I’m on my way! Less than an hour. I’m so sorry! Sh**!”

I was out of the bathroom and changing my clothes and out the door, shouting goodbye over my shoulder, in less than 6 minutes.

Thank goodness I have a hairbrush in my car. Unfortunately, I don’t have a toothbrush. And I hadn’t taken my morning meds. This is not the first time I’ve been grateful that I don’t do makeup.

I got to work, only 9 minutes late, feeling nauseous from the adrenaline dump. I refuse to incriminate myself regarding how many traffic violations I committed to do so, and how many times I questioned myself along the way to make sure I was driving to the correct drawbridge.

Upon arrival, I looked in the mirror and realized I still had marks on my face from my CPAP mask. I’d gladly pay someone $500 to let me go back to bed. That offer is still on the table.

As I write this, I’m sitting here feeling gross because of skipping so many steps in my morning hygiene regimen, and kind of resentful of the fact that even though I got an extra hour of sleep, I didn’t get to enjoy it. And I’m doing that leg shaking thing that I thought I got over in my 20’s.

Ugh. I need a hug.

Late

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Screwing Up Once

So my phone rang at 7:03 am. I woke up, took one look at the clock, shouted, “Oh, SHIT!!!!” (causing my sleepy dog to give me the hairy eyeball) and answered the phone. I knew it was my supervisor. Before he could say much of anything, I apologized profusely and said I’d be right there. My alarm hadn’t gone off. I had set it for PM instead of AM.

It happens to the best of us. But you have to understand: Bridgetenders cannot, simply cannot, be late. Ever. First of all, if you don’t show up on time, it means the person you are relieving can’t leave. That tends to cause discontent amongst the troops.

But even more importantly, since we are regulated by the Coastguard, abandonment of a bridge can constitute a $10,000 fine and/or 10 years in prison. You just don’t get to impede maritime passage like that. It’s a big no-no. Granted, I’ve never seen this regulation actually enforced, but it is a possibility. It’s why I’ve only been late to work 3 times in 15 years.

Let’s do the math, here. 15 years times 50 weeks a year (allowing for vacations) times 5 days a week equals 3750 days of work. Number of days late: 3. That’s a 0.08% error rate.

You know what that says to me? Congratulations, Barb, you are human. Alert the press.

But instead I got written up. Here, it’s called a “coaching and counseling” and we’re told it does not become a part of our permanent records. They just hold it for 6 months or a year. (The fact that I can’t remember the length shows you how much I care.) I guess they want to see if you are a chronically late person.

Upon receiving my copy, I asked if there was any documentation of the 99.92% of the time that I actually show up 20 minutes early. I was told no. “Well, that’s fair,” I said.

What a destructive policy. All this does is make your staff feel unappreciated. It is a blow to morale. It makes one want to do the bare minimum for an organization that clearly does not care about its employees. Bad business.

This is not the first time I’ve observed companies come down like a ton of bricks on a good employee who screwed up just once. It makes absolutely no sense. It’s the equivalent to setting fire to your own hair. (“Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time…”)

Here’s what I don’t get. I screw up once and get written up. Trump screws up several times a day for 6 months running, and he’s allowed to destroy our governmental infrastructure and our standing in the international community, all while robbing the taxpayers while he golfs, and there are no consequences.

WHEN DO WE SAY WHEN??

smiling_objects___alarm_clock_by_mondspeer-d8j1gx4.png

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Off-Kilter

The alarm rang this morning, and while I would have rather slept in, I did feel unusually rested for a work day. My dogs were looking at me rather strangely, but I chalked that up to their usual desire to be fed NOW. After doing just that, I started in on the rest of my work day routine.

I remember thinking that it was going to be a nice sunny day. I can’t get used to how freakin’ early the sun rises in Seattle at this time of year. It completely confuses my body into thinking that it’s later than… wait a minute. What time is it? WHAT TIME IS IT??? Omigod! I’m LATE!!!

I set the alarm for the time I was supposed to walk out the door rather than the time I was supposed to wake up. What the hell was I thinking? Suddenly, instead of my foggy slow-moving morning customs, I was thrown into overdrive. Leaping over dogs while getting dressed almost in mid-air, I bolted into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, grabbed my lunch from the kitchen and rushed out the door with sheet marks still on my face. I’m sure my dogs are still shaking their heads in disbelief.

Driving that thin line between breaking every law in the book and yet not putting my life at risk, I got to work with barely a minute to spare. Only then did I wipe the sleep from my eyes. Ugh. I hate when I do this.

Yes, I got to work on time. So now everything should proceed as planned. But no. First of all, I feel vaguely nauseous from the adrenaline dump. And my head feels all muzzy and confused. I’m supposed to be sitting in the back yard, enjoying the morning birdsong while waiting for the dogs to pee before closing them in for the day. Instead I’m… where am I? I’m at work. Yeah. That’s where I am.

The rest of the day is going to feel ever so slightly off. Not quite right. Just a little wonky.

I wish I had a reset button.

off balance

[Image credit: theseanamethod.com]