Friday, November 21, 2008

Ears Pinned Back

I snapped this shot right when Bombay was approaching Lostine's hay. Lostine pinned her ears back and jabbed her nose out to chase him away. You can see that he tightened his lower lip and almost looks as if he is pouting. The picture kind of sums up how I've been feeling -- irritated, harassed, and self-pitying.

Yesterday afternoon I had to take several hours off from work for a doctor's appointment. Just as I was getting ready to leave, I realized that I never gave the office intern his assignment for the day. I sent him an instant message with instructions on what to do. Before he could respond, another instant message popped up on top from another coworker needing my help with a problem. That very second two emails appeared in my inbox from two other coworkers needing my assistance with completely different challenges. I could feel my body tensing up. "It's starting again," I thought.

It's as if a voice pops into the heads of all these people I know and says, "Bother her now! It's the worst possible moment, so do it now!" And they do.

I knew I had to nip it in the bud, so I replied to everyone that I was leaving for a doctor's appointment and we would have to speak in the morning. Even as I was gathering my purse, more messages were piling in. I just had to walk away.

It's a 45 minute drive to the doctor's office. When I arrived, the receptionist looked at me suspiciously and said in an annoyed tone, "Can I help you?" I told her my name and said I had an appointment. She said, "Oh no, you don't. All my patients are already here. You must have the wrong day."

Something deflated inside of me when she said that. I had nearly been hit twice by drivers who ran stop signs on my way over. If I had gotten the day wrong, I suspected this little screw up was in my cards. It was fate, and I wasn't excited to find out why this had to happen when I was so incredibly busy and barely had time for the appointment to begin with. But then I remembered that I had an appointment card written out by this very receptionist for this day at this time. She checked her books and said, "Whoops. My mistake. I never put you down in my book. Well, you'll have to just swing by another day. The doctor is an hour behind schedule."

"Just swing by?" I said, anger welling up in my voice. "I had to take several hours off from work to be here. I don't live near here. It's an hour and a half drive round trip. This time off comes out of my vacation hours."

She looked at me like I was being unreasonable. She didn't know that she was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I tire of always having to suffer the consequences of someone else's mistakes. As long as people aren't affected by their own screw ups, they just go on repeating the same mistakes at other people's expense, so I made sure to lather on the guilt trip. I wanted her to remember this. Normally, I'd be much kinder and more understanding, but the last time I was in this doctor's office, she did the exact same thing to another patient... and this was a really old guy who could barely walk. I'm sure it was no easy feat for him to "just swing by" another day.

If a patient is late for an appointment or cancels without enough advance notice, the patient is punished by having to pay for the appointment even though he didn't receive the health care services. Shouldn't that be a two-way street? If the receptionist forgets to write the patient's appointment into the book, shouldn't the patient get a free appointment? I'm not talking about times when the doctor has an emergency and has to reschedule. That's the nature of medicine. I'm just talking about when an employee makes a careless mistake and a client has to suffer the consequences.

She rescheduled me for two weeks down the road, when I will have to take another two or three hours out of my vacation time. I started to drive home, feeling irritated about all the gas I wasted. I thought, "Hey, I may as well think up some other reason to be in town, so that the trip won't be a total bust."

I thought about how disgusting my winter wardrobe is. All my turtleneck sweaters have bleach or make-up stains on their collars. I stopped at Ross and found some turtlenecks and other sweaters to replace the old stuff.

I was enjoying the shopping, selecting materials that dog and horse hair would least likely stick to, until a male employee kept finding excuses to brush past my butt. Hardly anyone was in the store, so I don't know why he had to hover around my butt. He could have straightened racks elsewhere. Each time I moved to a different aisle, he followed me. I felt uncomfortable, grabbed what I had and took it to the register without trying it on. I suspect the guy was trying to deter me from shoplifting, but he ended up blowing the sale, because I'm sure I would have bought much more had he not so persistently invaded my space and ruined my shopping experience.

On my way home, a car kicked a rock up into my windshield and left a pock mark. Just one more pit amongst several. You can't drive the highways of Nevada without replacing a few windshields. When I got home after dark I wondered what the point was of such a crazy day. It all seemed so senseless.

I opened my email and saw that my resume had been rejected by an employment firm. I had put in a lot of time updating my resume and studying to prepare myself for an interview, but it looks like I won't even make it that far. The recruiter lectured me for applying for a position that I wasn't quite qualified for, told me that a career change is a big decision and that I should stick to what I am doing. Though disappointed, I felt relieved. It's one less thing to stress out over in a series of weeks in which I have had way more than my fair share of stress. Plus I did get a little break, though unplanned, to spruce up my wardrobe. Fate could have brought me a car accident when those drivers ran those stop signs, but instead it brought me new sweaters. I guess things may be taking a turn for the better after all.


sue said...

Ijustwant to applaud your positive attitude even though you are being tested to the limits.... it's just the thing you need the most, and is the hardest to do!!! I hear an interesting saying that might apply and wanted to share it with you.... "the brightest diamonds are made from the greatest pressure".....

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks, Sue. That's a good saying for me to remember. I suppose I'm just going through a character-building period of my life.

Vaquerogirl said...

" The Bloody Hen gets Pecked" Seems to fit today huh? Well girlfriend, I'm glad you are looking for a less stressful job- and if you were closer I'd help you find one! People are asking me to work for them all'a time!
AND I must say that if your hair didn't blow off of your head by the rudeness and incompetence of that receptionist- you are headed up the Saint Ladder to Heaven. I would have jerked a knot in her bloomers fer sure! But subtlety is not my strongest suite...
I had a day like that last Christmas... No I wasn't arrested, and they did save the women in the car that had narrowly missed me in the crosswalk..(just kiddin') but I did put a pretty good dent in her fender with my fist as she brushed by me... and didn't stop...( I wonder why?) I'm sure you have a healing mantra- just keep repeating it or you can use mine... " I will not kill anyone today I will not kill anyone today...
Keep smiling!

KD said...

OH man..... had the receptionist told me I had to come back, I probably would have started crying. That's so disappointing! Good for you for not causing a scene and keeping your cool. It's hard sometimes, isn't it?

Nor’dzin said...

My heart goes out to you and I admire your self restraint. Life here is feeling a bit too much cope with at the moment as well, so I empathise totally. I hope things ease up for you soon. All best wishes.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I applaud you. YOu're a much better person than me. I would have demanded to be seen and then raised my voice like a crazy person so that everyone knew that I was being unfairly treated.
Either I'd have been ushered right in to keep the peace or the police would have been called to take me away. lol!

I'm really sorry you had such a rough day, and have been going through some challenging times. I hope the sun starts shining and positive things start happening for you soon, my friend.

New Mexico

C-ingspots said...

I want to second the comments made by Vaquerogirl!!
You must be on the list for Sainthood!!
I woulda just kicked the receptionist's smart ass all the way to the door...sorry, I am just being honest here. :)