I spoke with the financial consultants, who talked to me for 45 minutes before admitting they had nothing for me in the court case, but have use afterwards. During this time I was at work, and continuing to work…three emails came in while I was on the phone; fussy customer irritated by deadline’s passing on cow-orker’s abandoned report, fussy customer irritated because I haven’t installed revisions (I had, but she didn’t understand them and so became even more fussy), and a customer who had lost the report I sent her and was blaming me.
I got off the phone and began to compose and email begging for help from Supervisor with cow-orkers report, that being the agravating one of the bunch, and coworker came up.
“Did you know that I have to work phones for two hours today? And cover you on lunch?” She was appalled by the injustice of it all.
“Give me a minute. I’m dealing with the customer whose report you underbid. He’s fussy, but I’m already working over, so I don’t know how I’m going to speed things up.”
She realized that there would be no sympathy here, but that’s not acceptable. Sympathy means you’re important, and she must receive. ”I’m sooo sorry. It’s because of me taking time off. I have such horrible issues, pity me and feel that I am worthy of your unwilling sacrifice and adore me.”
I stopped her midway through her apology/bid for attention. ”Stop. I have more problems than I can cope with right now. I can’t handle two sets.”
So she switched tacks again. ”I wish there was something I could do to help.” Cow-orker comes in late and leaves early. I’ve been helping cover her by coming in early and leaving late. Last week she left early because traffic is just so much easier to deal with if I leave twenty minutes early. She deliberately cherry-picks projects and leaves the complex ones to fall overdue while she’s out of the office.
“But there isn’t.”
“I just feel so badly, but my family –” Not badly enough to do anything differently, though.
“That’s great, but I already have my own guilt for falling short on this project and working extra hours when my family wants me home. I can’t handle your guilt, too.”
“I get it. Okay. I’m supposed to cover you during lunch. When do you want to take lunch –”
“I suppose –”
“–because I have plans at 11:30.”
“Then I guess it’s already decided, isn’t it?” Mister diplomacy.
She came back from lunch half an hour late. And left early again.
On a brighter note, when Shannon came to pick me up, we got hit hard enough while at a full stop at a traffic light that the car moved four feet forward. No one was hurt, no cars were injured, so I guess we can call that good luck.
We had the kids cook dinner tonight. Shannon and I sat on the couch in a stupor and drank liqueur. Things are looking up.
Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry