About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Middle-Aged Moments & Childbirth Words

So Thursday I had another one of those mornings when I tried to cram too many activities into too little time and wound up driving in. Not an entirely awful thing, because I wanted to pick up something to take to the sisters we visit teach. Preferably something cute and perishable but non-fattening, because the Season of Eating fast approacheth, and the Psalm of the Love Handles will soon be heard throughout the land, and because we love our sisters and don’t want to give them another mouth to feed or another objet to be dusted.

I think these are almost terminally cute. Not warty like some of the gourds I saw, nor some clich├ęd variation on the theme of orange. Something like unto the love child of a traditional pumpkin and a wheel of Camembert that is past its sell-by date. Because nothing says “thinking of you” like a pumpkin that resembles moldy cheese, right?

OK, all that mail that we didn’t get last week or earlier this week showed up Thursday morning. The scanning operator went down to fetch the second installment of mail, after I had brought back four pieces of bona fide legal mail and half a dozen bits of junk mail from the earlier run. She lugged two envelopes back to her scanner before lunch. One was about 4” thick, and the other about 5” thick. Yes, we measured. All from the same law firm and pertaining to one case.

And I want to be a legal secretary, why? Though strictly speaking, most of that stuff would have been dealt with by the paralegals, but oye!

We were short-handed that day. One person out on vacation, another who called in, and two stuck in a conference call that was scheduled to last most of the day. One of the people who was stuck in that call didn’t know that it was going to be an all-day call until she got to work that morning. I didn’t know until she told me that there was going to be a meeting that inhaled one-third of our team. And the phone calls and the faxes just kept coming.

Most of the time I genuinely feel like part of a team. We like each other, we work well together, and we keep the office running smoothly. Most of the time. Thursday was not one of those times. I fired off a letter to the team. The scheduling nightmare impacted my breaks, my lunch hour [I had to ask a legal secretary to cover for me, which the office manager does not want to happen; she wants all backup to come from other team members as often as possible] and my cross-training. I had the other available team member read it over before I sent it. She thought it was civil and to the point while expressing my [our] frustration at having to do the work of six people.

I told her I would take a short lunch and help her with the scanning. When I came back to my desk half an hour later, my regular backup was sitting there, the other team member was helping with the scanning; they had exited the meeting when they got my email, which was not my intent. I wasn’t upset with them; I was upset at being out of the loop so I could at least gird my loins and get a running start at the day, or set up my relief beforehand.

I may get barked at on Tuesday, when our team leader returns to the office. I intend to stand my ground. Either we are a team all the time, and everybody gets informed of the meetings, etc., that will impact the team, or we are not in fact a team. They can’t have it both ways.

If I want to schedule some time off, I check with my two backups before checking with the office manager. I make sure that it’s not a Monday, unless I am taking a week of vacation as I did when I moved, because Mondays are our crazy mail days, and I typically spend up to three hours opening envelopes and pulling staples so the scanning operator can do her job. I don’t take the last couple of days of the month off, because my primary backup is doing her end of month reports. I try not to schedule my dental appointments on the days that we have our support staff meeting. I make sure it’s not my week to get the early mail.

Simple, basic consideration for my team members. Two of them return the favor. Two of them have a side business or an interest that takes them out of the office frequently, and we have to work around them. And the other is so amazingly brilliant at what she does, that she gets sent to teach other offices to help them streamline their operations.

Oh well, at least I’m not bored.

Eleanora is zipping along; I have six rows done on the heel flap, so it will probably be done and the second sock cast on by the middle of next week. As there’s nothing visually exciting about a slip-stitch heel flap, no picture today. Instead, here’s what I saw when I parked my car downtown, one day last week. The WFAA tower.

The Belo [bee-low] Building. They own WFAA, the Dallas Morning News, and a bunch of other stuff.

An office building through the trees in the early morning light.

The south side of the Founders Square building.

The west side of Founders Square.

I came home from work last night and had two whole-wheat mini bagels spread with salmon cream cheese, with half an apple dipped in Nutella for dessert. Later on I popped a small bag of popcorn and ate it while reading the book of Louisa May Alcott short stories, which are charming! And then I went to bed and slept like a rock.

Today, except for grocery shopping, I do not even want to leave the house. The weather is cool and crisp, and I am all about the baking. I am also going to fire up the mini-crockpot for a small batch of soup. I want to fill the fridge with muffins and quick breads and soups, so that next week all I have to do is come home and nuke something for dinner. My goal is to spend less than $10 at the deli in my office building next week. That means I will need to make my own double-chocolate muffins. I’d better get busy!

But first, there will be a nice hot bath and a bit of knitting.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

Al the stuff you were cooking sure smeeled good wehnwe stopped by yesterday.