We heard back from the vet recently that Doc is all done (they called it “The Procedure” but you know they just wanted to say “Yep, no balls all done”) and is recovering nicely. Apparently he’s sitting next to the technicians and is weaving back and forth and acting drunk. Silly puppy. We get to bring him home tonight after 5pm and hopefully he’ll take it easy and won’t rip his stitches out. We also had him micro-chipped while he was sedated and I hope that the application site isn’t sore. I have the feeling we’ll all take it pretty easy tomorrow and we’ll try to help Doc be as comfortable as possible.

Also, since I know you’re all waiting in breathless anticipation to hear how my performance review went I won’t keep you in suspense: it went horribly. Badly wouldn’t come close to describing it. Neither would terribly. Apocalyptically may be going a bit far so I think I’ll stick with horribly.

This is the first bad performance review I have ever gotten (and I’ve had a job ever since I was 15!). I was screamed at, berated, and given impossibly bad feedback. In short, worst two hours ever. What made it tolerable was that I forgot to eat today. In all the excitement of getting Doc to the vet and getting to work on time I plumb forgot to eat. Then, my manager pushed my performance review back so many times that I never knew when it would be permissible to eat. So, I went from 6am-2pm with nary a food in my tummy. I’m hypoglycemic (which means that when I don’t eat I turn into a bit of a crack addict in search of a fix. Yes, I will mug you for your sandwich if I’m hungry) and that condition coupled with the stress and anger I felt turned the whole experience into a surreal charade. Almost like I was watching a movie of my horrible review.

I made it look like I was taking notes but the whole time I was writing down the various and sundry comments that came to me as my manager screamed at me. Thoughts like, “Well, I’m so glad those books I read on recruiting aren’t considered part of my dedication to work because boy, were they fun to read”, “If the movie was so important for me to see, why didn’t you let me see it during work hours?” (Yes, I did get yelled at today for not seeing a movie I was told to see by one of my managers. Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds), “If it’s OK for you to swear at me whenever you feel like it, is it OK if I call you a f****** b****?” “I wonder what would happen if I just stood up, walked over to her and shook her hand and then left forever? Do you think Wes would be mad? He’d probably be mad. I’d better wait”.

After the review (let’s not call it a review, let’s call it The Evisceration). After The Evisceration I walked for half an hour to clear my head. Wes and I discussed what went down and then he made me come back to the office and eat. So here I am with a drunk puppy and all will to live sucked out of my ears. I really wanted to smoke a cigarette but didn’t (I decided to stop smoking whenever I get upset because there’s a lot of cancer in the women in my family and there’s no need to put myself at risk for an expensive, cathartic, mind-soothing thrill).

The problem with Eviscerations like this is that I now feel like I am terrible at everything. I had thought I was doing well at my job but I have been soundly disabused of that notion. Now that I know what my manager expects from me, I feel like I can’t do the job because she’s made me feel as though I can’t do, nor have I ever done, anything well.

I apologize for the rather somber tone of the post but I feel like I got the wind knocked out of me. I would like to think, however, that if what just happened to me in The Evisceration really were a movie it would have a hugely satisfying ending. Something extraordinary, like if I were to stand up and my manager were to stand up and then engage in a Bourne Ultimatum-style fight wherein I would deliver the final blow with a resounding “WhuPAH!” and she would crumple (not dead, just KO).

Even better would be a recreation of the scene from “Fight Club” wherein I beat the snot out of myself and then waited for the security guards to burst in on me and my manager at our most excellent moment together (I’m reading the book Fight Club right now, actually, and that may not be the best book for me to be reading). If that were the ending of my movie (titled “The Evisceration”, of course) at least I would have monetary security AND my smirking revenge. Is revenge best served cold or smirking, I wonder?

It’s Raining Poop

I was reading an article about weird workplace encounters today and one story in particular caught my eye: “A radio station employee was threatened at gunpoint when an angry patron was unhappy with the promotional bumper stickers he received. The patron demanded McDonald’s coupons instead; when the employee didn’t have any, the man flashed what looked like a handgun. She searched her car and found a coupon for a free cheeseburger. The man took it, made a derogatory comment about the radio station and rode away on his bike.”

What a country. Every time I read stuff like this it puts me in mind of how, no matter how bad my job is at times it could always be worse. Also, I cracked up when I read this because, honestly, he threatened her with a handgun because he wanted McDonald’s coupons? That is a serious McNugget jones he’s working there. And then he rode away on his bike?! How very cosmopolitan.

The reason I bring this up is that I’ve had a bit of a rough day. It was a classically bad day in that it started bad, got a little bit worse, and then faded into the kind of uncomfortable obscurity that makes you dread what’s coming next. My manager is so mad at me that she wrote an email to me in large font, all CAPITAL LETTERS, in red ink, with the word “Hell” strategically placed in it. Then she sent me another email, again in caps, reiterating her point. She hasn’t spoken to me all day and I can’t help but feel that now that the crap has hit the fan, what went up must come down and it’s going to be raining poop any second now.

To top it off, however, is the fact that she’s conducting my employee performance review tomorrow. I think that’s going to go well, don’t you? Making things even better is the prospect of dropping Doc off at the vet tomorrow for his very inclusive bris. My review is at 9am so I’ll drop my puppy off at the vet for surgery and then walk right into my performance review. I’m telling you, weekends were made for weeks like this.

I will write about the sure-to-be-wonderful events tomorrow, well, tomorrow. So for now I’m Erika Mitchell, signing out.

The Flashing Blue Light of Clarity

Do you ever just walk around, pass a person you think is crazy, and then realize that this person is just more high-tech than you are and think that maybe it’s time to stop judging people but then you realize you can’t because pseudo-crazy-lady looks like she hasn’t brushed her hair in about a decade? As you can probably deduce, this happened to me about four hours ago.

I was walking through the lobby of my building and walking toward me was a woman wearing a rain slicker and sporting the largest mass of tangles I have ever seen. Her hair was not good. Naturally frizzy hair + rain + comb phobia = perma-crazy look. To top it off she appeared to be talking. To someone. Someone unseen. An invisible friend. That’s right, she was talking about ice cream with someone who wasn’t there.

I must have turned my head to look at her three times. I was just incredulous. How does a hallucinating schizophrenic wind up in my lobby? Wonders never cease. Anyway, as I’m trying to avoid eye contact and sudden movements we pass and I catch a glimpse of a blue light flashing from within her nest of hair-tangles. Suddenly it all falls into place: she’s wearing a wireless Bluetooth headset! And she looks insane doing it because no one can see the headset! Thank you, crazy-tangles.

Who knows how often people nowadays gets mistaken for loony tunes just because their headsets are hidden? I know that bald guys can get away with it but I feel strongly that people with dark hair, long hair, frizzy hair, or bad lighting should avoid using these headsets in public lest they be involuntarily committed or assaulted.

Just think, you’re on the phone talking to your husband/wife/friend/suicide hotline operator about that person at work who is just so awful that they make you want to go crazy. Some poor person who’s in the elevator with you and happens to join into the conversation without any context and can’t see your headset will probably hear something like this: “Seriously, I’m going crazy. I don’t know how much longer I can take it. What should I do? No, I can’t do that, that’s probably illegal. Do it anyway? HeeHee, you are so funny sometimes, think of the mess!”. That hapless soul in the elevator is probably going to start inching away from you real fast.

If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s this: if you’re losing your mind, be discreet. If you’re not losing your mind, try as hard as possible to make sure others don’t find it ridiculously easy to think your cheese has slipped off your cracker.

Wesley Mitchell and the Chamber of Secrets

We did it! We survived the Thanksgiving weekend and it was a lot of fun, actually. We had dinner with Wes’ family on Thursday, spent Friday doing housework and yard work, helped with the baby shower on Saturday, and then ate dinner with my family on Sunday. It was busy but very pleasant all around.

It looks like the next few weekends are apt to be as busy as the last one. We are having dinner with Wes’ family on Saturday to celebrate his brother’s 30th birthday and then on Sunday we are having some friends over for dinner. They are vegetarians and I’m excited to cook for them because I’ve found some tasty recipes that I’ve never gotten to try out before (owing to Wesley’s strict adherence to a meat-centric diet). We still have to figure out when we’re going Christmas shopping so that’s been giving me a bit of a headache. It seems like time goes quickest when you have the most to accomplish!

In spite of all the crazy-busy, I have a tale I would like to tell. An epic tale of a sink, a bowl, and one man’s quest to appease his wife. It was Wednesday night. I had just gotten home and walked into the kitchen. The puppy, frenetic with glee as usual, occupies my attention for the first few minutes I’m home. After appeasing his manic desire for affection I turn and behold my husband. Crestfallen, bemused, he’s standing in front of the sink with his wet hands in front of him and chagrin painted across his face.

I, being the grand mistress of subtlety that I am, fail to notice and just go upstairs and change. I come back downstairs and ask him how his day was. He then regales me with a story about how, in the throes of cleaning up his Mac n’ Cheese mess, he was surprised to find that physics is funny in our kitchen and sometimes glass can explode for no reason at all. He was washing a small glass bowl when it unexpectedly exploded in his hand. He wasn’t injured, thank goodness, but the glass cascaded down into the garbage disposal and had jammed the motor.

At first, I was nonplussed. I asked him, “How did it explode? Were you angry with it? Did you bang it into something? How does a structurally sound glass bowl just *kaboom!* all over the sink?” Neither of us having the answers, I make dinner and he goes to his computer to attempt to find a solution.

Fast forward to two hours later. Having just washed the dishes using the little food trap thingie in the sink I realize how much of a pain it is to not be able to use the garbage disposal. So, I turn to Wes with a desperate plea, “Please, honey, fix my sink!”. He sighs and resigns himself to the thousand-years long legacy of men who fix things for their wives.

After perusing the repair manual he realized that we were lacking the special tool necessary to unlock the Chamber of Secrets (also known as the compartment that houses the motor of the garbage disposal). Not to be deterred, he examined every tool we own and fashioned the perfect tool using the disparate parts that are scattered throughout our house. After creating this special tool he laid down under the sink with his feet and legs just sticking out and he fixed that sucker. Just like that, BAM! Problem solved.

Our garbage disposal issued a challenge and Wes not only answered that challenge but he OWNED that challenge. Broken Sink: 0 Handiman Wes: 1. Heck yes.

At Least I’m Not a Turkey

Oh boy, here we go again. Another round of holidays for me, thanks, straight up and with a twist! I figured out this morning that Wes and I are leaving for Mexico in three weeks. THREE WEEKS. Oh my goodness, that’s hardly even enough time to make a decent cheese! After I figured out that our vacation was truly impending, Wes and I spent about 15 minutes planning out our weekends in order to ensure that everything (i.e. Christmas shopping) was taken care of before we left.

I never fail to be amazed at how quickly life can go from zero to screaming. I woke up this morning thinking I had plenty of time to prepare for the holidays and now I realize that the holidays are so close they are breathing on my neck and kind of smell like caramel popcorn.

One thing that Wes noticed about me, though, is that once I’ve realized that I’m going to be busy I freak out because I attempt to swallow everything I have to do in one voracious gulp. Apparently, I’m not a python and this doesn’t work very well. For Wes’ sanity’s sake I have decided to heed his advice and try to take all the many and varied tasks set before me step by step. I get so overwhelmed and then I overwhelm Wes and then the only happy person left in our house is the puppy and that’s sad because we should all be as happy as the puppy (seriously, I think he’s the happiest creature in the world. Everything is a celebration for him. When he wakes up he’s just thrilled to see you. If we give him a new chew he is so ecstatic that he spends about 5 minutes tossing the chew up into the air in sheer jubilation. If we’re running down the street and he finds a stick it’s Hooray! can you please pass the joy?) .

An important thing to remember also is that although I’m going to be very busy for the next few days I’m going to be busy with very joyous celebrations. I’m not scheduling impalements in between dismemberment and the rack, I’m eating/cooking good food and celebrating my newest niece. Things could be worse, yes?

Unfortunately, this perspective is not my natural response to the situation. I was not blessed with is a permanently good attitude. Having a positive outlook and good attitude are two things I struggle with quite a bit, actually. I seem bubbly and effervescent but I naturally gravitate toward being grumpy and difficult when I’m stressed (just ask my co-workers!). With enough vodka and chocolate I can survive pretty much anything, though, and the holidays are rife with both! So that’s my job for the next month and a half: have a good attitude and try to maintain a healthy perspective. Oh, and also, try not to explode.