The last two weeks of work have been really busy, which is a good thing. But in the midst of all this I had to deal with some interpersonal bullshit with a woman who works in our building. Background: There are four different offices represented in our building. Our mail room does not deliver mail, you have to bring your outgoing mail to the mail room and bring back the mail each day. So we came up with a plan for covering this duty for the entire building which involves each office being responsible for the mail a week at a time. Two weeks ago it became apparent that a certain individual did not remember it was her week to cover the mail, and since it was a very intense week waiting for deposits for the fall to show up, I offered to swap that week for the next week, which was ours, so my work study students would reliably get the mail around noon each day thus avoiding my boss doing the deposit jig in my office waiting for the mail to arrive.
The following Monday it became apparent that she did not remember we had swapped, so I sent my work study up to get the mail, and sent a friendly email to this individual to remind her that we swapped weeks, so technically it was her week, however, I had already sent my student to do it that day.
I got this response back, exactly as she wrote it: I thought your wording last week was misleading……. “wanted to offer to have my work study students do the mail this week”….since there was no mention of a swap. I thought you were volunteering your work study student. As I am the only one in the building without a work study, it would have been nice to have a sub at the most stressful time of my year. I guess no such luck.
I am pretty sure that my head exploded against the wall. One of my employees said she has never seen me so angry. And I was angry. There was no intended insult on my part. There was apparently a miscommunication, but there had to be at least 100 better ways to say what she said to me. “Oh, I am sorry I misunderstood, is there any chance you could cover this week too since I am so busy?” would have been a good place to start. Never mind that my office is flat out insane during those weeks as well.
But I took the high road, at least so far as my response to her was concerned. I apologized for any miscommunication that occurred since apparently I neglected to actually use the word ‘swap’, and said we would cover that week. I then decided to get my Zen on, and try to at minimum feel pity for her rather than anger, since it was obvious that she is one very bitter woman who feels very put upon on a regular basis. And I do feel sorry for her, now that a week and a few days off have passed. I don’t know what her life is like, but I know from our interactions that she tends to see the worst in people and situations first, to assume an affront rather than seek clarification before jumping down someones throat. She has flat out screaming matches with her boss, a VP here at the college, which is not only wildly inappropriate, but disturbing. Sending a little mental grace her way can’t hurt. I could have confronted her about how she said what she said, and how I felt when I read it, but I am not sure the effort would gain me or her anything. People like this don’t tend to be that introspective.
After that it was nice to take an extra long weekend. I needed to use up some vacation time before the end of June or lose it, so I will be taking a day or two off here and there. So I took the past Friday and Monday off. Cooper still went to school, which left Bob and I free to do stuff. Like go to the movies. Oh yes, we had a mid afternoon date. We saw the new Star Trek movie, at an Imax theater with “buttblaster” sound in the seats, and it was AWESOME. I grew up watching the original series and of course have seen all of the movies and much of the newer versions of the series – Jean Luc Picard is the dreamiest bald guy ever. But this movies takes us back to the beginning of Jim Kirk’s life, and how he gets to the point of becoming Captain of the Enterprise. The actors who played the younger versions of those iconic characters we have all come to know and love did a fabulous job of capturing the essence, but not completely aping the persona’s. It was funny and exhilarating and a good ride all around.
We attended a party on Saturday for one of the neighborhood families that is moving to the next town over, and as I watched the four year old boys play, I died a little inside. Four year old boys are the devil incarnate. They beat on each other with abandon. Sigh. The things I have to look forward to.
Sunday included breakfast and a trip to the farm and planting of tomato plants. I have tried them in those topsy turvy pots that you hang upside down, and have had no luck. So this year they get to take over one of the planting beds.
Yesterday I went to visit a friend of mine who has a 7 week old baby. I have to say I am glad to be past the baby stage. I am enjoying the interactiveness of this stage of Cooper’s life. It is nice to hold a baby, but it was nice to hand him back.