Thursday, June 18, 2009

Third Thursday

Today was the third Thursday I had off from work. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I suffered through the worst headache of my life. I tried taking antihistamines, Tylenol, ibuprofen, a variety of other painkillers, and even Valium, but nothing put a dent in this pain. Despite being on quite a cocktail of drugs, all I could feel was pain. The stress with my job was making me feel like I was having an ongoing stroke. I knew that if my boss told me I couldn't have this Thursday off, I was probably going to have a real stroke.

So, on Thursday morning I turned on my computer so that my daughter could use it, and saw that my boss sent me an email the night before saying he needed me to work today. Considering that I worked from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM and he sent the email at 6:30 PM, I don't know how he could have expected me to get it in time to cancel all of my plans and appointments. I decided to pretend like I didn't see it.

I walked Bombay over to my neighbor's place for my equitation lesson, and told my neighbor that my boss wanted me working on my day off. She snapped at me, "Well, at least you have a job! My daughter-in-law just got laid off from hers yesterday. You should be happy!"

I can't tell you how many times I have heard that. It seems everyone has either been laid off recently or they know someone who has been laid off. I've been laid off many times in my life, and I know it is a painful experience. I do think it is inappropriate for companies to lay off all these people, and then drive the remaining employees to strokes and heart attacks by pushing them to give up every minute of their free time to do the jobs of all the people who they laid off. If my job stresses me out so much that I end up with headaches that lead to nausea, something is wrong.

My equitation lesson went well. My instructor spent more time praising both me and my horse, and didn't do any yelling. When Bombay spooked and bolted, he didn't insist that I whip him. There were a couple of times that I lost control at the lope, and my instructor just smiled and said, "That's okay. Don't worry about it. You should pretend like you did that on purpose. Make the horse think you are in control even if you aren't."

I appreciated his support. I like it when he gets quiet and gives me time to think for myself when I get into sticky situations. I once had an instructor who was firing off so many instructions to me at once that I would get 4 or 5 steps behind her commands and fall further and further behind until I just had to stop my horse and shut down mentally. I felt overwhelmed. I think every equitation instructor should work silent moments into his/her lesson plan.

I had a busy day and found out that one of the Chief Officers of the company called to see if I knew where a missing employee might be. I had noticed that this man wasn't at his desk when I was last in the office, but I just figured he was out sick or on vacation. Apparently, he just disappeared and no one knows where he is. I have to wonder if the pressure got to him and he wigged out. There have been plenty of times when I've wanted to just run away. I know he was made to work through the weekend to meet a deadline. He's the type of person who needs a lot of thanks and praise, so I could see him just getting up and walking out when he receives too much criticism. I've learned that impossible deadlines, finger pointing, and being yelled at are all just par for the course with this job.

Now that my vacation day has come to an end and I have to return to work tomorrow, my headache is returning. I saw that my boss called a mandatory meeting early in the morning before most employees even get in, which usually means we are going to be forced to work through the weekend. In fact, it's a given that we will have to work through the weekend, because Father's Day is this weekend. This company never lets us have our holidays. They always schedule deadlines right around holidays so that no one can take them off. My father passed away years ago, but I do have a father-in-law and my husband is the father of my children, so I would like to at least have time to take my husband out to a restaurant.

I already promised my equitation instructor that I will practice riding at the Fairgrounds this weekend, because our next lesson is going to be at the Fairgrounds, and I need to get my horses used to it again. I rode them there last year, but I'm sure I'll have to start over from scratch in dealing with all the nervousness and jigging since it's been at least six months since they've been there. Plus I have to contend with the new motocross track this year. I figured I would have to haul them out both Saturday and Sunday, plus maybe on a few evenings to get them settled by next Thursday. When I take my equitation lessons, I want to focus on my balance and riding style, not on trying to control my horse when it is on pins and needles.

I also got a chance to ride Lostine today. The poor old girl was so tired that she fell asleep each time I brought her to a halt to let her rest. It was a hot day, so I had mercy on her and let her rest in the shade. I also sprayed down the horses to get all the sweat off. Gabbrielle has been head shy ever since her ear injury, but today she let my play with her ears while I sat next to her on Lostine. Also while I was riding Lostine, I came to the realization that my neighbor's somehow managed to get rid of the majority of their junk vehicles and junk piles. They only have one boat and one trailer cluttering their yard outside of the three vehicles they drive. Either they got sick of looking at the mess, or they read my blog and discovered that their neighbors are sick of looking at the mess.

My nosy neighbor did come out each time I was working with the horses, and I did my best to ignore her. I glanced over every once in a while to gauge when she was going to leave, but realized that she wouldn't leave until I removed myself from her scenery. Apparently, I am too interesting to resist. She walked outside, went straight to her car like she had an appointment, saw me, changed her mind and started watering something, then decided it's a good time to start cleaning up things on her porch, then got in her car, then went back in her house, making a point of fumbling with her keys at the door for five minutes, then came right outside with her arms empty, then got in her car again, then sat there doing nothing in the driver's seat, then got out and fumbled with the lock to her house again... On and on it went until I went into my house. Only then did she finally drive off.

On another occasion she did drive off before I went in the house, but I could still hear her engine close by. I wondered what was taking her so long to leave the vicinity and turned to look at her. She had stopped at the end of my driveway and was watching me. As soon as I shot her an annoyed look, she gassed it and peeled out down my road. What a weirdo.

It was nice getting away from these stalkers for the weekend. When my daughter and I returned from the Western States Horse Expo on Sunday night, I ran outside to hug my horses and blow raspberries on their muzzles. But that got cut short when I ran out to find my neighbors and the Pervert all lined up on their porch staring at me. I just petted my horses and hurried back inside before they had time to totally undress me with their eyes.

The next night I had gotten all the horses in their stalls, but hadn't closed the doors yet, and my neighbor drove up the street behind my barn in his truck. All three horses busted out of their stalls and galloped across the paddock. I got irritated and said out loud, "Good timing. Couldn't you have just given me 30 frickin' seconds without driving behind my barn?!?"

(I mean, really! I only need a couple of minutes each evening to put my horses in their stalls and this man manages to drive behind my barn right during those two minutes most nights. I change the time that I put the horses in their stalls, and he still manages to appear at the exact time that I'm trying to get this task handled.)

I said it out loud, not expecting the guy to hear me, but he must have had his window rolled down and heard me, because when he got out of his truck he stood next to it and watched my every move as I herded my horses back into their stalls. Only when I got the doors closed and fed them did he go inside his house. The following night the neighbors were out on their porch again. My husband came outside naked from the waist up and I warned him, "We have an audience."

He looked over there and said he didn't care. The old guy practically stood on his tip-toes to get a good look at my husband with his shirt off. My husband stood on his tip-toes and glared back. They looked like a couple of prairie dogs sniffing the wind. He must have sufficiently intimidated the neighbors, because they went inside their house and left us alone. For once I was able to clean stalls without unwanted eyes on me. I might just hire my husband to come out every night with his shirt off and glare while I collect horse apples.


Sydney said...

"I might just hire my husband to come out every night with his shirt off and glare while I collect horse apples. " LOL!

Annoying neighbors. I had an annoying kid hanging around today when I was waiting for some graduating kids that had their parents hire my carriage service. This kid kept hanging around and petting my horse, which was annoying her because she wanted to be left in peace in the shade instead of walking around. Finally I got rid of the kid by going over to my sisters friends house and giving their kids a ride wile waiting to pick up the graduation party. Once I came back when the graduation was over the annoying kid found me, she asked if she could pet the horse and I said I would rather her not because people were taking pictures and getting in the carriage. My horse could hear the girl and started to get annoyed and fidgety. The girl started to walk up to her and I just lost it, I was hot and annoyed I said in a real stern voice "stand back, I do not want to say it to you again, the horse is annoyed I do not want any toes stepped on or people run down" so finally she went over to a tree to sit. Maybe I am too kind and laid back sometimes for my own good.

Katharine Swan said...

I laughed when you compared your husband and neighbor to prairie dogs. I can totally picture that...

I'm glad to see an update on you and your horses! I was wondering when the next one would be. :o) Good for you for taking your day off anyway -- it sounds like you had a great lesson!

Good luck in your meeting tomorrow...

Andrea said...

Oh girl, I do not know how you live next to those neighbors. They would drive me batty!! I love the idea of your husdand going outside with his shirt off to indimidate them!! LOL love it!! I am glad you got some riding time.

I hope you don't have to work ALL weekend. That would stink. I hope you can make it out to the fair grounds. And I am glad that Gab. is getting better about her ear being touched.

Paint Girl said...

I am so glad that your trainer was not yelling at you, and that he didn't make your kick or whip your horse! Maybe you put him in his place!
Sorry work is so stressful for you. It is frustrating when companies lay people off, then everyone else has to pick up the slack. That happened at my company, a couple years before they went out of business. All of us had to pick up so much extra responsibility.
I also think that was a rude comment from your neighbor, about you having a job. Speaking for myself, I am one of those unfortunate unemployed people, whose company went out of business, I don't go around telling people they should be lucky they have a job. I just don't say anything. What can ya do? It's happening to a lot of people right now. Looking for work is really tough too. But I am dealing with it.
Hope you are feeling better soon, I understand the pain, I get migraine's!

lytha said...

wow, what a story! the best thing ever would be to discover their blog and read about their craziness from their own perspective.

also - since i live in germany sometimes my choice of words is somewhat wrong - is it correct, "had gotten" or is it "had got"? present perfect is a pain! i have to teach my students and sometimes i just don't know, cuz in america we often don't use the present perfect tense at all. but you do...


RiverBend Farm said...

Okay, your boss sounds like a turd. I would ignore emails sent to my home too and somehow would demand that you have your Sunday off. I know jobs are scarce but that's ridiculous. Unfortunately, you are really having to deal with some wierdos around you..bosses and neighbors. I would have a throbbing headache too. Sorry you have to deal with all that.

Flying Lily said...

Your neighbors absolutely kill me. What is it with them??! What total emptiness their lives must be. Hope it goes well at the fairgrounds.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I hope your headaches go away soon! If there's that much stress, it might be time for a change...

I've always found that when I got all stressed out from work, I didn't really feel like riding. But if I made myself saddle up, I felt so much better afterwards. Horses truly are healers!

I'm glad your lesson went well.
Try taking 2 horses to the arena. They help to calm each other down. YOu can leave one tied to the trailer or in one of the chutes while you ride. I'd even let my extra horse go free while I ride but that will depend on how active he is or if anyone else is riding. At first, run them around together to get the bugs out. I find it works so much better than lunging to give them some "wild" time. Then they know when I ride that they MUST behave.

I have been riding and ponying two horses at a time and it's amazing how relaxed the three of us feel together. Is Lostine really easy to lead? Nadia is a dream leading. I don't ever have to pull on her lead rope. I can even ride two handed with the lead in the hand as well. Try it.

Lulu said...

It is great to hear that your riding lessons are going more the way you had always wanted!

Kate said...

Of course your neighbors want to watch you - you are interesting and what could be more entertaining than watching you and your horses! LOL!

Really, sorry they're such pests and that your job is so hard. But at least your lesson went well - it sounds like you've gotten the trainer in line!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Well, just as I expected, we got called into a meeting and were told that we are all expected to work round the clock through the weekend. On Monday we have to have two months worth of work done, and will probably be fired if we don't get it done. We were offered candy as an incentive, but no overtime pay. I'm going to have to sign off for a while. Sorry about not visiting anyone's blogs.

Katharine Swan said...

NM, I am so sorry. I'll be sending you strength and happy thoughts all weekend. I'm sure if I close my eyes tight enough (and wiggle my nose for good measure) it'll get to you. :o)

manker said...

good for you... you dont run from your horse stuff or your work stuff... tho methinks you need to change something if you're feeling so physically stressed... That's when I decided I had to get outta dodge and move to Mt.. finally


KD said...

Are you a salaried, exempt employee? If not, then they have to pay overtime if you work over 40 hours in a week. Other states like California require overtime to be paid for any time over 8 hours in one day, then double time once you go over 12 hours in a day.

Sucks to have to work on the weekend. I work four 10's and normally have Fridays off, but last week I had to work my Friday and part of Saturday. We were moving to new offices, so I didn't really mind. The hourly folks did get paid for their additional hours.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I agree about the rude comment about feeling lucky you have a job. How silly. How would they know or understand?

My hubby is forced to work mandatory every two mornings in a row after having had worked the graveyard shift all night.
I honestly don't know how he manages to even drive home sometimes. It scares me.

At 6am, he thinks he can come home, but they make him stay until 3pm. gah!

And then when they do it on his day off, it's just wrong. He loses an entire day because when he gets home at 4pm, he will sleep until 10pm, get up, eat and then go back to sleep until morning.

And yes, he has worked all weekend and will be working a double on Fathers Day. bah!

What really stinks more, is that he works in juvenile justice, so he deals with these rotten gang kids and criminals, basically babysitting them, while his own kids are missing their Dad. Not fair.

Anyway, thanks for the giggle about your hubby and his nakedness. I was laughing at the prairie dog comparison, too. :-D