I woke up yesterday around 4:00. As soon as I sat up, my sinuses started doing a crazy Chinese fire drill inside my head. I honked and sneezed most of the way to work, where it only intensified. I killed a third of a box of tissues before leaving the office. I also managed to pick up a headache toward the end of the workday.
I knew, going in, that I had a report to transcribe for Attorney B, and that I would be backing up Attorney C, whose secretary was taking the day off. When I opened my Outlook, I discovered that another secretary had decided to take the day off. Attorney C's secretary is the universal, default backup. Could I back up Attorney D as well? I girded my loins and forwarded the message to Attorneys C and D that once I had finished the report for Attorney B, I would be available to help them both. Then I went into my attorney’s office and let him know what was up, and that if he walked by my desk and my hair was on fire, that would be why.
And then I got to work. Report? check! Monday’s mail folder dealt with? check! At which point it was past time for lunch.
Thankfully, yesterday was a light mail day. When I returned to my desk after lunch, I sent off Attorney B’s report, went through Attorney D’s mail and filed it electronically but did not calendar anything, making a note of same for his team to read. Ditto for Attorney C. At which point I was free to read and work my attorney’s mail and do anything else that was needful.
Around 4:00pm I got a semi-frantic call from Attorney E, who was working outside the office. His secretary was also off. The default secretary was also out (see above). As I had done something for him in the past when his secretary was swamped, could I handle something for him now? I told him that I was already backing up two extra attorneys, and that J was his backup secretary, and that if she were unable to help, I would be happy to do so. I then transferred him to J.
J is an experienced secretary. She has a lot of adjunct responsibilities in our office. And she is rarely at her desk, for one reason or another. She was away from her desk when I transferred Attorney E. I don’t know if he left her a voicemail, but the next thing I knew, there were two emails from him to me, the first requesting assistance (and I’m not sure if he sent that before or after we spoke on the phone; I was seriously impaired after a day of honking and sneezing) and the second saying something like unto, “J says that you are the backup to the backup. Could you handle this for me?”
At which point I got my Irish up and went looking for J, who was in her attorney’s office, with the door open. I popped in and asked if she had told him that. She replied in astonishment that she had not, that she had not spoken to anyone that day (other than her attorney, obviously). By the time I walked back to my desk, you could have been scalded by the steam coming out of my ears. And about three seconds after I sat down, I heard J’s phone ring. It was Attorney E, and I could hear her reassure him that she would take care of it.
I got the rest of my attorney’s mail taken care of and fired off a letter to the other two members of the hospitality committee (both of whom were out of the office yesterday) that if I felt as awful this morning as I did at that moment, I would not be coming in. And since I spent Monday catching up from being out on Friday, and yesterday wrangling 4.5 attorneys, I had not had the chance to call and order the cupcakes for tomorrow’s birthday celebration, could one of them please handle it? With a copy to the office manager, who is not exactly on the hospitality committee and not exactly not.
I was so sick, and tired, and frustrated when I left the office that I was on the verge of tears for most of the drive home. Beloved remarked on how quickly I’d gotten home. The traffic fairy was as merciful yesterday as the mail fairy had been. He gave me a big ol’ hug, and I started to simmer down.
I love our home. Within half an hour I had stopped sneezing and was calm again.
Before I left the office, I told J that I wanted to forward Attorney E’s second email to our office manager, with the comment that J had said no such thing. I would have had no problem whatsoever had he said that he couldn’t reach J, could he take me up on my offer to help? That, my friends, would have been honest. I used to like him, and now I have lost all trust in him. J said it wouldn’t do any good to say anything to the office manager, and I should just let it go. Maybe I should. I don’t feel all het up about it anymore. But I also do not have one speck of warmth toward that prevaricator. So I will be praying for a forgiving heart, and maybe I will put his name on the prayer roll at the temple when I’m there tomorrow.
In other, happier news, Beloved got a callback from MD Anderson: they need more information. He shot off an email to his new oncologist, who will get that information from Parkland and send it on to Houston. If MD Anderson decides that Beloved is a good candidate for their clinical trial, then they will contact our HMO to request authorization. So maybe some of this will be covered by my insurance after all? That would be seriously cool! In the meantime, Beloved is already getting a much higher level of healthcare at the new facility than he was at Parkland, where they are overworked and understaffed (and while I am somewhat sympathetic, I am also unimpressed, although grateful they were able to keep him alive long enough for us to get better care for him).
We should know in a few more days. Time for me to sluice off, head to the office, order the cupcakes, and see if I can get some knitting in before my workday begins. I went to bed a little after 7:00 last night and slept until about 10:30, then got up and puttered in my studio for a couple of hours before coming back to bed and sleeping (with only minor interruptions) until the alarm went off.
Beloved and his second grandson are fishing this morning. It’s gonna be a scorcher today. I hope they don’t bring pre-baked fish home later this morning.