How to have a crap week, yet celebrate Mother’s Day and Anniversary, all Geek-style

Well, OK, maybe not an entirely bad week, but certainly a bad 5 days. It started last Friday with the office manager insisting I see more patients than I realistically can. She insisted on this for a good half hour while a patient waited. Being the good little worker bee that I am, I gave a little ground. Sometimes you give on a battle to win a war. Silly me. I should have known that she’d take complete advantage of that. Screw Sun Tzu. Give me Machiavelli.

Saturday was the day from hell. Said office manager had slammed my schedule full of people. I swear, she inserted them in between real slots, stuck them in sideways, upside down, and diagonally. Naturally, I was horribly behind very quickly. I loathe, despise, and otherwise bear negative sentiments at being behind. I suddenly had 4 patients waiting to see me, and the pre-tester, who is slower than molasses on a cold winter’s day, was preparing a fifth one. I informed the fifth patient, since it was not fair for her to wait if she was busy too, that it would be at least 45 minutes. She was not happy about his. I told her I’d get to her as quickly as I could. She didn’t like the idea of having to wait when she made an appointment. I didn’t like it, either. After I got through the butt-load of patients, the office manager stormed into my office and yelled at me for being rude and informed me the patient had walked out, along with an older couple (who didn’t have appointments anyway), and the noon patient. Now, mind you, I had personally checked in the noon patient, so I knew this was a lie, and promptly informed her that she should never lie to me. After several minutes of the office manager insisting that I was rude (blunt, yes, rude, no), the pre-tester actually sped up and got my patient to me and the office manager thankfully left my office.

Lunch could not happen soon enough. I decided to get out of there. Unfortunately, I’d left the lights on the car on, something I haven’t done in, oh, 20 years. So of course the battery was dead. My thought was to rip hair out, but it’s so fine it doesn’t need any help in the thin department. Instead, I called Trusty Hubby and vented. He, bless his heart, listened and even offered to bring lunch. I had actually brought a cold lunch, so I told him I was OK, I just needed a drink. I was talking to him in the break room, language peppered with assorted Anglo-Saxon terms which are not repeatable in front of young children, when the 2 gals eating lunch at that time heard me.

“Wow, I’ve never heard Dr. Jae swear before,” one of them said. This was said with a mix of awe and amusement, particularly at the alternative word used for nookie. When I got off the phone, I apologized for my frequent use of Anglo-Saxon. They weren’t bothered in the least, other than wondering why I was so ticked off. I vented some more. At this point, I discovered from one of the gals that the office manager was doing some funny stuff–telling patients she was giving them a glasses care kit and then charging them for it, and hiding the charge when she handed them the bill. I told the gal I called that fraud. I also realized I now had a. the responsibility for figuring out how to handle this information without losing my job (because the thought of people getting screwed by her, or anyone, just grates on my sense of honesty, and, oh, this little thing called ethics), and b. a huge trump card if said office manager decides to give me problems again. If she tries to mess with me too much, she will be so Anglo-Saxoned so hard she won’t know what hit her. This made my day worse and better all at the same time.

By the time Trusty Hubby came to the office at the end of the day, bringing a lovely large Diet Pepsi and jumper cables with him, I was fried. Of course, there were cars parked on either side of mine. I thought I was stuck having to wait in a place that I would loved nothing more than to see burn to the ground. If I’d had heat vision, the place would have been torched. Trusty Hubby decided that getting me the hell out of there was a good idea, so he told me he was taking me to dinner right then and just to get in the van, we’d deal with the car later. This, I decided, was sheer brilliance. I suspect he thought it was mother-preservation.

Since it was a day-before-Mother’s day dinner, he asked me where I wanted to go. I told him “wherever they have a giant margarita”. I figured this was a better option than committing arson and/or other felonies against the office manager. He took me to my favorite Texas Roadhouse without even asking. It was packed, but fortunately the wait was short, and the bar had 4 chairs free for us. He ordered the top shelf margarita, bless his heart. Apparently no one had ordered one in awhile, because the bartender had to get a stepstool out and, you guessed it, get the Gran Patron off of the top shelf.

It was a fabulous dinner, as always. However, both of us had a top-shelf margarita with dinner. The bartender, bless her heart, had made them very strong. She must have know what a thoroughly Anglo-Saxon day I’d had. We decided that we should not drive, but instead should walk across the street to the Best Buy. This, I decided, was also sheer brilliance. The kids wanted me to find something for Mother’s day, so I found a wireless router for the new Xbox 360 they’d bought for me about a week earlier. My family LOVES me.

Mother’s Day was awesome. The family let me sleep in. They made me brunch. They took me out to see Star Trek, which I loved. They made dinner and even cleaned some of the dishes. They let me game the night away. Trusty Hubby and I watched an episode of Legend of the Seeker together. Best. Mother’s. Day. Ever.

I spent Monday finishing up my final portfolio for my writing class. Finishing up revisions the Monday before the Tuesday night class was never a problem–we have two printers at home, so getting stuff printed out is never an issue. Until, you guessed it, this last Monday. As the evening progressed and the nearly 100 pages of material was printing, we discovered we ran out of black ink. Only half the pages printed. No problem. I went to the other computer. It was getting later in the evening, and I was tired. The last thing I wanted to do the night before what I was sure would be another Anglo-Saxon-Day At Work was run around trying to find an open store for an ink cartridge.

Did that printer work? Of course not. It would only feed about 2 sheets at a time without jamming. I tried cajoling it. I Anglo-Saxoned it. I threatened to throw it out the window. It did not listen to me, and in fact decided to quit printing entirely in a fit of rebellion. Trusty Hubby heard all the Anglo-Saxon and decided that he would take it to work the next day to print out, and bring the portfolio with him to the public reading my classmates and I were doing for our final class of the semester that night. This, I decided, was sheer brilliance. However, on Tuesday morning, because I believe Murphy’s Law always applies to me, I printed out a color version of the 3 pieces I was to read, juuuuuusssst in case. The darkest color I could create was a lavender-blue. I hoped 18 point bluish-purple would work in the poor lighting of a small theater where we were going to be doing our readings. My only option to improve the lighting would have been to pull up some white internet pages on my smartphone and shine it on my material for more light. I really need to get a little penlight for my bag.

Tuesday was our 19th Anniversary. It was also a work day. Amazingly, it was relatively quiet. Amazingly, the office manager was nice. Not so amazingly, one of the other staffers confirmed that she was committing fraud on a regular basis. Not so amazingly, I was nervous about reading my work in front of people, despite the fact that I talk to a couple dozen strangers on a daily basis. So, I practiced my readings in my free time and prayed that 10 minutes, 58 seconds would still count as ’10 minutes’, since we weren’t supposed to go over that. I just didn’t want to cut my chapter reading off anywhere else than where I’d selected. I had decided to go out to lunch that day as well, to escape Witch Manager and just to relax. At least I didn’t have to worry about the headlights that day–it was nice and sunny, and I never turned them on. It also helps that my van has the ‘Hey you! Yes, you! Turn off the damn lights, what, are you blind or something?!’ tone.

Right before lunch, however, I got The Dreaded Call From School. My son had thrown up in the bathroom. So much for relaxing. I drove like a maniac to pick him up, called Trusty Hubby who said he’d leave work right away, told him I hoped it wasn’t Miss Piggy Flu, and dropped my son off at home with a pillow, blanket, TV remote, and bucket.

Trusty Hubby informed me that the reason he could leave so early was because the server was down at work. Of course it went down before he was able to print the portfolio. He picked up an ink cartridge on the way home, bless his heart. However, both of us forgot we’d used up the last 50 sheets of printer paper on half-inked copies. I gave up and emailed the entire portfolio to the professor, at least to show her that I’d done the work.

Reading in front of the class was a piece of cake compared to all that. Too bad I couldn’t have a margarita while I was reading.

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