27 June 2008

All Quiet in Crazy Land

Wednesday was Receptionist's last day. Owner wouldn't allow anyone to know other than Superhighway, Mr. Moneybags and me. On her final day, I sent Owner an email asking if I could say goodbye to her. He told me I could if I was careful not to let anyone else hear. I said goodbye with tears in my eyes.

Though she doesn't know it, today is Crazy Employee's last day. You know I'm very ambivalent about her. My therapist thinks she's a sociopath; I believe she's probably right. Nonetheless, I'm feeling sad. (I'm also trying to think of how I can be someplace else when Crazy is presented with her personal belongings already packed up and told to hit the road, jack.)

I complained, bewildered, to my therapist last week that it's so unlike me to be so emotional about what happens here in Crazy Land. I make a concerted effort to keep people at arm's length. I make a concerted effort to hide myself from them. It's one of the things I'm very very good at--when at work, I'm in thinking mode. I inhabit a role familiar from childhood. I stand back and watch...then I tell you about the absurdity and humor. I do not emotionally participate.

Therapist told me that part of my transformational experience of breast cancer is that I have less control over the arm's-length thing. She believes it's a manifestation of my true nature. Well, damn. I don't think I like this part of the transformation. Can't I just return to the way I used to be?

The only people here today are Crazy, Loathsome, Foot Lady and me. It's a silent office. The quiet makes my sadness loud.

25 June 2008

Bad Truck Karma, I Guess

Yesterday was Truck Day in Crazy Land. Late yesterday afternoon, I got a call from the Branch Manager in Virginia to report the theft of one of our trucks from our client's site. They noticed it missing yesterday morning, but thought it might be "lost." They searched everywhere, he told me, and finally decided to report the truck stolen. I got Branch Manager's call a couple of hours later. He wanted to know if there was anything else he should do. Well, yes. That's why we have insurance.

It's 10:00 o'clock and I have now spent two hours trying to find the correct person to talk with at our insurance company. I still don't have it. By the time I get that information, they'll have already found the stupid truck. This isn't even something I do. I'm the Workers' Comp person, not the Liability, Business Auto, everything else person. Nonetheless, if I get a call about any of those issues, I'm duty bound to take care of it. I hate it that I'm so responsible and accommodating.

The other big truck news from yesterday involved our 1986 flat bed truck. We have four flatbeds in town, but the other three are in use at clients' sites. We've have a project in a city about 40 miles from here that requires some (apparently) rather large items from our warehouse. I didn't even know we still have a warehouse.

The Ladies' Man had some help getting everything loaded up on the truck and set off to the client's site. He got there, but as he drove into the parking lot, the elderly truck gave up the ghost. Ladies' Man tried several times to start it, but had no luck. Unfortunately for him, he had to get Loathsome involved at that point.

Loathsome's solution was to get in his own truck and head on out to try to jump start it. That didn't work, either. I saw them both arrive here at the office around 2:00, when the temperature was somewhere in the upper 90's and the heat index around 100 degrees. Ladies' Man left his truck, got into Loathsome's and off they went. LM looked like he might prefer to have a stroke or massive cardiac event.

They drove the 40 miles back to the parking lot, unloaded whatever it was they had on the flatbed and loaded into other trucks (not flatbeds). This morning, the flatbed is still taking up way too much space in our client's parking lot. Both the Ladies' Man and Loathsome are completely humiliated.

Another hour has come and gone. I've just had my fourth phone call with our insurance rep who still can't tell me who the go to person is for my auto claim. It feels like home. Crazy Land is everywhere.

24 June 2008

Something Helpless

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are but princesses that are waiting to see us act just once with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest essence, something helpless that needs our love.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who's right and who's wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don't like about our associates or our society. It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others. Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.
- Pema Chodron, In the Gap Between Right and Wrong