Saturday, July 24, 2004

I'm feeling better now

I blew a gasket about three hours after I wrote that last post. I thought I could make it through Friday. My supervisor had been out all week and I had been covering some of his duties, then I was planning on taking the first part of next week off to recharge. Instead, I found meltdown #3 that my sister has been talking about.

I don't know what got me there but it felt like every ten seconds my phone was ringing or I was getting an email or was being reminded of something and it felt like it all needed to be done now. In reality, I know that's not the case but that's how I felt.

The proverbial straw landed right around 3pm. I was on the phone answering a question that I knew off the top of my head. Right in the middle of the conversation, I feel a vibrating at my hip. It was the on-call cell phone - a phone I am obligated to answer and deal with immediately.

My first thought was to remove it from its holster and throw it as hard as I could against the opposite wall, smashing it into a countless number of inoperable bits... but I thought better of it. Without missing a beat in my conversation, I lightly tossed it across the room, as if to someone but there was no one there, and let it gently bounce off the bottom of the door on the other side of the room.

It gets a little fuzzy from there.

I don't recall hanging up the other phone. I don't even remember who I was talking to or about what.

The next thing I know, Kevin has gotten up from his desk, run around to retrieve the phone, and was handing it back to me. "I don't want this," I thought to myself, "why the hell do you think I threw it across the room?" Then I realized that some bits of the phone had been knocked loose and kevin was handing it back to me so I would be caught with it when mom and dad came in and he wouldn't be blamed for it. I pushed the bits back into place and declared, "It's fine. Just got knocked loose a bit."

The whole thing was like a car accident. Life starts to move in slow motion, you get tunnel-visioned, reason and thought come in flashes, you focus only on what is right in front of you.

I'm not sure when he grabbed the phone out of my hand but I heard Kevin saying, "Give me the phone and go home."

I turned back to my computer. Too many people asking too many things and I just had to make it through Friday. If I could just make it through Friday, Id have next w...

"Joe, give me the phone and go home." It sounded nice, but I had work to do.

"Joe. Give me the phone. and go. home."

I don't know how many times he actually said it. At least three, probably four, maybe more. I finally handed him the holster for the phone, turned off my computer and headed home... it was a rough night.

Yesterday, I took the day off and went to see my doctor. He gave me something to help me sleep (Ambien for those of you who care) and told me to get some regular exercise. We'd try this before going the medicated route (especially since we'd been down that road before). It's supposed to help with stress and it should get me in better shape - another thing he's been harping on me about.

I met my wife for lunch after seeing the doctor, then went straight to the newly-remodeled campus recreation center. For $227 and some change (faculty/staff price), I signed up for a whole year. I'll probably drop by and spend some time on the treadmill later today.

My next appointment is August 10. If I can make it until then without falling apart again and depending on how I feel at that point, I think I can go the drug-free route.

I know the advantages of sticking around will most likely place me in a position of power when all of this finally does shake out. I will continue to look for another job, though - this one just isn't worth the grief... no job is worth this.


Why did I just share that with you? For one, it helps to write it down somewhere. Kind-of a marker of where I've been and what I've been through. Two, if I'm going to share my experiences with you, it might as well be the good, the bad and the ugly.

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