Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Need a Horse

Heart of a Cowgirl said that around her house if anyone is feeling down or having a bad day, they say, "I need a bunny" and flop on the couch to cuddle up with one. I'm feeling like I need a bunny or a horse. I admit it. I hug and kiss my horses all the time. I know that some horses throw their heads up or to the side and can easily break someone's nose, but my horses are very sweet and gentle when they know you just want to show affection. They know the routine of holding still for their kisses and hugs. Gabbrielle even kisses back, lightly rubbing her muzzle on my cheek and lips. I'll bow my head and let her massage my hair with her lips. She never tries to eat my hair, but just rubs it back and forth. She always makes me feel better when I'm having a bad day, or week, or month, or year, or life.

I'm desperate for some downtime. I found out on Monday that my most reliable coworker is on leave because his wife had their baby. Of course, I am very happy for them, but now I find myself doing both my job and his while he is away. I was already overwhelmed with too many responsibilities and in dire need of a vacation, and now I'm just a breath away from getting some quiet time in a rubber room. It's all I can do to keep from losing my mind.

I had a Tuesday night deadline to complete all of the tasks leftover on a project that my coworker was in charge of. I worked as hard and as fast as I could on Monday, Monday night, Tuesday and Tuesday night, just barely finishing in time. I had to work in the office on Tuesday, and people kept interrupting me every few minutes since I don't have my own cubicle or private office where I can be out of sight and out of mind. I sit at a bar by the main door, so everyone who comes in and goes out feels the need to speak to me.

The tasks I was working on required complex Unix commands and SQL statements. I had to map a lot of data throughout dozens of database tables. I had to memorize a series of numbers and kept getting them mixed up with every interruption. It felt like brain surgery. I had to configure software tests, and was getting blocked on most attempts by other problems. All the while my coworkers are pulling up chairs beside me because they were bored and wanted me to entertain them. I repeatedly kept telling people I was extremely busy and needed to concentrate, but my complaints fell on deaf ears and they just kept talking like we were at a party hanging out together as opposed to in an office with me trying to meet a deadline. I was floored by everyone's insensitivity.

How could they not tell that I was under a tremendous amount of stress? I was shaking all over, hunched over my keyboard typing as fast as I could. I was working through lunch while they were taking 2-hour breaks. I was mumbling and cursing to myself. I had papers and electronic equipment scattered all around my desk and the floor around my chair. I had sweat dripping from my brow despite the air conditioning being cranked. Still, somehow, no one seemed to appreciate the fact that I was under the gun.

Last week I put in a request that one coworker be relocated since he feels the need to verbalize his every thought to me, and I can't complete any of my tasks amidst his endless rambling. A few weeks ago I somehow managed to accidentally delete an entire database when this man distracted me with his chatter. Management moved him into another part of the office. Still this man leaves his new desk every few minutes to come over to mine to talk about the weather or to crack jokes that I might normally think are funny if I weren't so overwhelmed with work. I repeatedly stressed to him how busy I was, and he just kept doing it. I was an inch away from phoning his boss to tell him to give this man a ton of busy work to keep him out of my hair.

To say the very least, I was overstimulated. Every time I tried to speak to one person over the phone or through email or instant messaging, another person would walk up to my desk and start talking to me about something completely different. My brain was on overload trying to manage so many different projects. By mid-afternoon I was snapping at everyone, telling them to handle their own problems because I had enough of my own. Anyone who came near me with hopes of socializing found themselves talking to a bitchy brick wall. I wished I could hire a bodyguard to turn people away just long enough for me to complete one task.

I was stuck at my desk all day, like most days. If I'm lucky I get to walk a few feet between my desk and the bathroom, except on this day every time that I went to the bathroom I found it occupied. My bladder was bursting, which just added to my stress. Then my nose started running and I reached up to grab a tissue, only to find my tissue box gone.

Mr. Non-Stop Talker had a bad cold that lasted for several weeks. When he spoke to me, he often had snot running down his upper lip, so I kept offering him tissues from my personal tissue box. I finally got so tired of playing nurse that I just gave him the box. No tissues for me meant having to get into the bathroom to use T.P. to blow my nose, but the bathroom was occupied. There was no time for me to go to the market to pick up another box of tissues. I was frustrated from suffering the consequences of my own kindness weeks later at a time when I really didn't need one more challenge on top of everything else.

It wasn't the greatest day, and I was yearning for hugs from my horses, but they were an hour's drive away. However, there's still construction going on along the highway I take to and from work, so my usual one hour drive can last anywhere between an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours depending on how long I am forced to park on the road while men in orange hats work on the road up ahead of me. I thought this construction was supposed to be done in June, but I misread the notice. It should be done in July, so I've got another month of living on the highway. At least I don't have to drive in to the office every day. If I had to put up with this construction and the inability to get any work done in the office on a daily basis, I would have lost my mind a long time ago.

You want to know the irony in all of this? I was scheduled for a vacation this week, but canceled due to thunderstorms. Had the thunderstorms not been plaguing us, I wouldn't have been able to take the vacation anyway because of my coworker and his wife having the baby. And the cherry on top of it is that my nosy neighbors have been gone all week, away on their own vacation. So had the thunderstorms not happened and the baby not been born this week, it would have been the perfect week for me to take a vacation and work with my horses. Just a little cooperation from the universe would be nice. Sigh. I need a bunny... or a horse.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Awww, poor you! I feel so bad for you. Maybe your coworkers just miss you?

Sounds like you need a horse!

Reddunappy said...

Oh woman you have a lot on your plate! And more annying people in your life than a normal person should be issued!

Hang in there, walk out to the barn and close your eyes and take a deep breath....or two, or three!
Hang in there!

I am at the other end of the spectrum HO Hum, I am disabled now and have lingering medical issues and cant always do the things I want, I am bored a lot and wonder about going back to work...but I dont know if I am able, people from my work keep telling me they want me back! thats hard too, I liked my job, not near as stressfull as yours, I was just a cashier dealing with the public and bosses all day LOL, So as I told Lisa at Laughing Orca, things could be worse, you have your health and are able to do all these things. It does sound like you need that vacation though!!!

fernvalley01 said...

Sending you virtual bunnies ,by the dozen ,Sounds like you need them!

RiverBend Farm said...

I feel really bad for you having to deal with all that stress at work. And, of course, you're probably not getting much down time at night knowing you have to get up in the mornings and face all of it again the next day. I do hope you get some quiet time with Gabbrielle..she looks like she could cheer you up.

Lulu said...

I know exactly how you feel. The really sad part is that I know exactly what you are talking about when you bring up UNIX and SQL. LOL

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awww, I'm so sorry you're feeling the blues. Sounds like daily stresses are sucking the life out of you.

Like reddunappy said, I too feel bored and get so depressed and frustrated that I'm not able to to do the things I want to. I know most of it is just temporary and that eventually I will, God willing. I, too have disabilities (neck and hip) and found daily activities challenging even before this knee trouble started.
I haven't been able to work a job for years because sitting for long periods causes me discomfort, but I can't do repetitive lifting either.
Not many people know about my other health issues, because I try not to focus on them. "Out of sigh..out of mind, right? hehe"
I try not to let those things get in my way of doing what I desire, but then they remind me through painful episodes that I am truly limited. It stinks.

I don't think I'd be able to tolerate what you have to go through everytime you go into work, though. Can't they move you to a more private area?
How about putting up a large sign that says, "Do not Disturb"?
Why do they put you out in the open like that? Are you expected to also field questions and be a greeter, too?
Sheesh. Sounds like a lot for one person with that much work on their shoulders.

You're lucky that your horses are so affectionate. Baby Doll is only that way when she is very tired. She usually won't even let me touch her face and she is not one to nuzzle either. Val calls her the old spinster and she's right. Baby Doll is one independant gal. haha!
I bet it feels so nice when Gabbrielle snuggles your hair and face. sigh. Bliss.

Hang in there. Like you said the other post, "There is light at the end of the tunnel" :)


monstersmama said...

Oh, your time will come. Its soo stressfull right now. but you will be repaid. keep your head up and go home and love on your horses.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Good question, Lisa. They won't give me my own desk since I only come in one day a week. I sit at a bar with all the part-timers even though I work 60 or so hours a week, mostly from home.

Katharine Swan said...

NM, put your foot down at that job of yours! Tell them that they either need to give you your own desk, or let you work from home 100 percent. You need to let them know that you are too stressed and that they need to stop making it even harder for you to do your job.

That's awesome that your horses are so affectionate. Panama is too. Because I'm right handed, when I brush the left side of his neck and his left shoulder, I stand partly under his neck. He loves to rest his head on my left shoulder, or nuzzle the left side of my neck while I brush him on that side. There's nothing in the world quite as good as a horse nuzzling you. :o)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Now that I've made it through another crazy day, I want to take the time to thank everyone for your supportive words. Reddunappy and Lisa are right about being glad that we have our health when we do have it. That's something I think about a lot. I'll think, "Everything sucks right now, but at least I can walk. At least I'm not in pain. At least I haven't had any major illnesses or injuries in a while."

Then I also should address those who don't have jobs, but want them. I know it's hard to listen to me complain about all the stress I'm under with my job when there are so many people who would love to have a job, but can't get one. I am definitely thankful for my paycheck. That's what keeps me going. If you are out of work, try to make the most of that time. I think back about all the time I wasted sitting in front of a television set when I didn't have to work, and I could just kick myself. I don't know when the next time will be that I can just work part-time or not at all. I'm seriously doubting I'll ever be able to retire.

fernvalley01 - Virtual bunnies currently being hugged. Thanks for sending them my way. Your comment gave me the giggles.

AareneX said...

Hey, here's more VB*'s for you, fresh from the Swampland (we have too many of the real thing and are happy to share).

I agree w/Katherine S: holler and yell until they give you someplace quiet. A CLOSET, fer cryin' out loud.

Until then, I suggest the "danger tape" strategy employed by a friend of mine in a busy office. Normally she would be happy to chat, swap funny stories, etc. Once or twice a month she'd be facing a deadline, and would wind herself up like a mummy in that yellow danger tape that police use at crime scenes.

We all knew not to talk to her when she was taped. It looked just stupid enough for everyone to smile rather than be offended. And the message was VERY CLEAR: "Danger! Do Not Cross! Danger!"

*VB = virtual bunnies

Paint Girl said...

I just wish you could get less stress in your life, I don't understand how your coworkers can be so rude. Thankfully, I never had to put up with anything like that at work. I hope I don't have to deal with that, at whatever new job I get. I don't like inconsiderate people, especially since I am such a focused, very hard worker.
That is terrible that you couldn't take your vacation now, it would be perfect with your neighbors gone for the week!
Hang in there! I hope it gets better for you!