I was running late this morning. Not that that’s such an unusual thing. And I always get to work before my boss. But today I couldn’t take any chances. We were having a luncheon for her birthday and I wanted to make sure that I got there before she did. There were things to put in the refrigerator, banners to put up and people to check with before she walked in the door.
I actually cooked yesterday. I made a seafood pasta salad as my dish for the luncheon. I’m a good cook, but I hardly ever get around a stove anymore. And it seems that lately every time I do it’s to cook for someone else. Something my family is always ready to tell me.
So I put on some clothes and did my face and hair and grabbed my bag and the container with the pasta salad and the other stuff I bought for the luncheon. I went to work, only five minutes later than I would if I wanted to get there right at eight, praying that traffic would be light and I wouldn’t be too late.
I got there in plenty of time.
Today was one of those unusually boring days, long and tiring. After getting to work and doing all the stuff that had me rushing when I wouldn’t have on any other day, I started up my computer and went to get my coffee. I am a java junkie, drinking three or four cups of coffee throughout the day. I usually drink two cups before nine, needing the caffeine in the same way other people need a nicotine fix. It’s a habit I have nursed and has thrived through my college years and especially through my post-college careers years (all two of them). I have no intention of giving it up.
My coffee in one hand, my computer booting up, I checked my voice mail messages. Someone at the bottom of the ladder in my office really shouldn’t have as many messages as I do. But every piece of paperwork that goes out of my office goes through my desk. We are secretary-less at the moment and I have been taking over that role. If you have ever worked for the state you already know the amount of paperwork that every single little thing requires. If you haven’t worked for the state and don’t know, let me just say this, it takes an act of God to get anything done. Or at least enough paper to make you pray for an act of God.
The morning inched by. I have this habit of letting paperwork accumulate and then doing it all in one big chunk. Not really a bad way of doing things, but it means that every once in a while all I have to do in the day is shuffle papers from my desk to someone else’s for signatures, authorizations or some other obscure thing necessary. Today was one of those days.
The highlight of the day was the luncheon. My boss, was very pleased. When I was a student, I interned for her. She was the science writer for the university and I was one of her media interns. I had a desk at the external relations office in the college of engineering. I wrote press releases on what was going on in the college and she would correct my work and tell me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. When I went to work for the university full-time, one degree and two years later, she was the interim director for the office of public affairs. Now she’s the director of marketing and I’m one of her loyal worker bees. We have a good working relationship. She doesn’t like having to babysit people and I don’t like having people check up on my work. It works out fine.
As much as I like eating out, there is something about homemade food that is infinitely better. In addition to my pasta salad, we had chicken salad, tuna sandwiches, enchiladas, chips and a vegetable tray with three kinds of dips. Someone also brought cold cuts, cheese and several kinds of breads with all the fixings for sandwiches. We left that stuff in the kitchen for lunch tomorrow. As it is, we were too full from the pre-prepared food.
Ever try to work with a full stomach? It can’t be done. The more food you eat for lunch, the less effective you are that afternoon. So I spent the afternoon bored and tired and waiting for the end of the day. It was the kind of day that reminds me that I want to change jobs and that it’s time to get out there and look for something new. I’ve been putting it off, stopping myself from sending out my resume and asking friends if there’s anything available. Tomorrow I’ll probably feel more excited about the whole thing, but today I was very ready to leave.