Saturday, February 25, 2012

He will find his way

After yesterday's entry about the girls in the cooking class being annoyed with Geoff, I was kind of sad thinking about how socially inept he is. But my friend Debbie had picked him and her son up, and gave them a ride home so I could stay at work and sent me a great email after she got them home.

She told me that the whole way home Geoff and her son were continuing the whole Opposite Day thing that started in class (thus pissing off the girls). She laughed her head off. "It was just what I needed!" she emailed me. She's been completely stressed out this week. Her husband got laid off on Wednesday while she was driving back from a short vacation to see her brother in DC. She doesn't know if she needs to go get a full time job and leave the part time job that she has which works out perfectly for their family schedule. So the boys had her in stitches.

What she affirmed for me is that sometimes it isn't my son who is the problem. Sometimes, other kids are assholes.

Yes, I said it.

Girls especially at this age can be total bitches.  I kind of forgot that, as I spend time with a lot of quality children, most of them boys to be honest thanks to my role in Scouting. But it is true. the Mean Girls live.

Judgmental, I'm So Perfect and You Are So Flawed, Flat Out Bitches.

After the kids were leaving the class, the two other boys were laughing and smiling. I asked if they had a good time and one kid said "it was the best class ever."

Now mind you, the girl who was especially annoyed with Geoff is truly a really nice girl. When she brings her dishes up to be washed she says thank you to the assistant. She thanks the teacher. She's there to do a specific project, which is all fine and good, but God Help You if you're not on her page. I bet she's told everyone she knows about the complete and utter jerk who was in her class yesterday.

And that's alright by me, now that I really ponder it. He wasn't insulting her, being racist, sexist or inappropriate in ways that I would find unacceptable. He just needs to learn to reel it in some one of these fine days. And he will. He will.

So this morning I wake up, my son is sweeping and cleaning (he wants money, he's not just doing it out of the kindness of his heart) but I feel reassured that he'll find his people. There are people who love him, grown ups, even some girls, and definitely other dudes.

My friend Lisa once told me when we were both shaking our heads over the absolute weirdness of both of our kids (her son and my daughter) that "they will find their way." A smile on my face now, as I echo that for Geoff. He'll find his way. It won't be with Cake Girl who can't stand him. It may not be with 90% of all the other kids in his school. But, he will.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cooking Class

Geoff took a cooking class today at my "awesome" and I know life is challenging for him socially. I thought it would be okay, but once again, boys find Geoff funny and girls do not. He greatly enjoys the attention from the guys in the class who think he's a riot, and they're in there doing "opposite day" where whatever the instructor tells you, you do the opposite.

As usual, it's funny for a minute and then it stops being funny and everyone needs to move on. But he never gets that, or refuses to get it (ie: KNOWS what he is doing is annoying some, but doesn't give a shit).

Then I have to publicly address it with him because people are complaining to me that he won't stop. Which, I'm sure, is humiliating to him...

and I walk out of the room and the boys are laughing because they still think it is funny, and he has this look on his face like the second I am out of ear shot he'll fire off another "opposite day" reference to continue the laughter from his gender...


Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Three Month Contract

A few weeks ago I got a call from a tech recruiter. Usually I hear this:

"Um, hi this is Fred Dude from Blahblow Technology Agency and we have a great position for you. Javascript with Ruby on Rails overlaid on an API of CMS and HTML and Indesign. It's in East Jesus Massachusetts, a short commute from where you live."

"Uh, no thanks."  East Jesus Massachusetts is 3 hours from my house.

Or, I get an email from Arupa Rashmanajeria "Oh hello Miss Christine I have a six month Flash coding position in Anaheim California. Please respond to this email immediately so we can place you in this position."

"Dear Arupa, I do not live anywhere near Anaheim, and the commute would be rough. Thanks anyway."

This call was for a three month contract, cutting and pasting corrected HTML into a CMS. It is about 15-20 minutes from my house. The pay is slightly insulting. But it is 15-20 minutes from my house.

I decided to take the position after talking it over with Doug. For a few reasons. The commute, for one. Like I said it is 15-20 minutes. The amount of gas I'm feeding my car working part time will be GREATLY diminished and I'll end up making more money in the end.

It is only a 3 month contract. So I can go back to feeding my car a lot of money after the contract is over and head back to the kitchens. Unless by some crazy chance they offer me a job after I am there for three months and I blow them all away with my tremendous awesomeness.

I struggled with taking this position, struggled really hard. I am and have been intensely happy working at my part time job at "awesome" as we do call it. I wish it was closer. I wish it was right down the street. I wish I wish I wish.

Having this vein thing happen to my leg one might decide that planets aligned, though. My doctor is right up the street. I have to have my blood tested a few times a week. And my doctor told me that it will most likely will take about three months... to clear this clot situation.

Three months. The length of the contract.

So I Doug and I talked about it and I pitched it to Jo. My big fear, and I told her this, is she'll replace me with someone that she loves and wants to have in the office more than me. The concept makes me sad. But I will be very happy to go back if this contract doesn't result in a real full time job.

I know there have been a lot of people praying for me, continually, pretty much for almost two years. It's nice to have an opportunity, a chance, a possibility of a full time job. Close to home.

But I've been incredibly happy working for Jo. And incredibly reluctant to leave the safety of the nest, as it were. I don't think there is a single person I work with that I do not honestly love and appreciate. When was the last time I worked at a place where I loved EVERYONE? Sometimes just being happy is a lot more important than anything else.

I am afraid I'll go to this three month contract and be an utter failure at it and get told after a week or so that I sucked all the smart out of the room and made everyone in the building brain dead. I mean, I'm sure it will be okay. And it is nice to FINALLY have a tech recruiter call me for a job that I can do, and it isn't in Mogadishu or something.

Wish me luck, in the job and the heartache of leaving my Awesome.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I really should learn to NOT joke around about certain things...

I took a nap on Saturday afternoon. Naps usually make me happy... but I woke up feeling like I was going to have a charlie horse in my left calf. I rubbed it, stretched it, took Ibuprofen for it. I took a hot shower... and it relieved the pressure for about a minute. Sunday morning it still hurt, walking from church to where we parked was really uncomfortable.

"You need to go to the doctor and get that checked out," says my husband.

"Why, it's a pulled muscle?" I responded.

"No, it could really be a problem. Remember I work at a hospital full of people who crash motorcycles, and have strokes because they ignore warning signs of blood clots."

I took to Facebook to make a joke about DVT (deep vein thrombosis) because of course, I would go to the doctor and he would tell me that I didn't exercise enough and had shrinking muscles and tendons and was shriveling away and I needed a good massage and a work out. My sister and others chimed in that "maybe it's a tumor/it's not a tumor" (thank you Arnold Schwartzenegger), or Wilson's Disease or Lupus (thank you Dr. House).  I went on WebMD and it looked like the joking around about DVT might just be getting to the truth, but I figured that was some old man disease, or something that happened to people who have leg trauma or something. I couldn't see in any way, shape or form how I would come down with a DVT... so it simply couldn't be. It would literally be jumping to conclusions, like looking at a mole and deciding you have skin cancer when it's just a mole. I was sure that it was just a strained muscle from moving around wood, or not going hiking enough (at all) this winter.

I didn't want to piss away a co-pay and waste my doctor's time when it was probably nothing.

Monday I didn't go into work. Doug called me at noon and asked me if I had called the doctor. I had not... He encouraged me to do so. So I did and the doctor had me come right in.

Doc took one look a my leg, felt the back of it and told me that it felt hot to the touch, asked if here was pain (yes) and told me that I had a Deep Vein Thrombosis. The hell? Rur? Wha?

"How do you know? You just looked at my leg and felt it?"

"Chris, I'm a doctor. I don't just play one on TV."

Touche. "Okay. But how do we know? Is there a blood test? What do we do?"

"You get an ultrasound, now."

He had his nurse make a call to get me in, and told me that he was writing two prescriptions, one for a pill and one for an injection. I told him I didn't want injections that I had to SELF inject. I mean really? What the hell? Why isn't everything in pill form! So he whipped out a syringe and demonstrated on himself how to do it, poked himself right there with no medicine in it and chucked it into the sharps container.

"If I can do it you can do it."

"Dude, that was kind of hard core."

I drove myself to the hospital, called Doug on the way, he got on a train to come up and meet me. I told the ultrasound technician lady that I should stop joking around about things like this, saying I have DVT and then finding out I do... maybe I should joke around about finding a million dollars under my bed next time.

She laughed and told me that she learned the hard way not to joke about things. Her husband is dying from terminal esophageal to liver cancer,  and they used to joke around all the time about "maybe it's cancer" or "when I die I bet you will..." or what have you.

It took my breath away. "I'm sorry..." I told her. She told me that this week they'd be moving him to hospice. Seven years of fighting and he was ready to stop. I tried not to cry, and she did her ultrasound thing.

Usually ultrasound techs don't tell you what they're seeing, but she told me that things "didn't look right" in my thigh. She asked if I had any trauma to my thigh and pelvis. "Well, I had surgery in August, I had a UAE to kill a fibroid, and they went in to my femoral artery right where you are right now."

"There isn't even a scar there," she said, looking for it. "Well, I knew that things were weird in here, because it looks almost like things were moved out of the way. It's kind of funny how you get used to seeing things after 35 years of doing this."

"Did they mess something up or break all my veins or do something horrible?" I asked. She assured me no, that they just moved things around. And that I probably had a clot as a result of this surgery.

That had never crossed my mind.

She found the clot, hiding behind my knee. She then followed up the veins from the clot and told me to listen to the sound of my pulse, describing it as "thready" compared to other spots in my leg where it sounded like rock star beats.

She had me get dressed after taking a series of images, and she called my doctor. He told me to go ahead and fill the prescriptions, call him if I had any questions, and come back for some blood work on Wednesday morning.

After I hung up the phone I stuck my right hand out to her. She offered to help me up but that wasn't what I wanted. I told her that I wanted to shake her hand and thank her. I asked her husband's name and she told me. I asked if I could pray for him and she smiled and said absolutely.

"And can I pray for you?" I asked. And she started to cry. Which made me cry. Someone else had come in the office, and I wanted to hug her but instead assured her that I'd remember them. I walked out to the waiting room teary, and Doug looked at me with surprise.

"I have a DVT, you were right. Let's go get the prescription filled and you can say I told you so."

So far I've had 3 shots, from Doug. I can't give myself a shot, so he has been doing it for me and he seems to greatly enjoy it. Dr. Doug as it were. I am going in for the blood work tomorrow and then heading into the office because I miss my girls. I probably should have the leg up, and should figure out how to do that tomorrow at work. Sigh.

If it's not one thing, it's another. Right?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wherein Your Humble Narrator Sees a Situation Shift

You never know what you might see out in the world sometimes. Here is an example. I was on the phone with my sister, shooting the breeze, when this all went down. She can attest to the tale, because I narrated it to her (and promised I'd blog it).

I was sitting in the parking lot outside of CVS waiting for Geoff's prescription to get filled. There were shopping carts all over the lot.   It is a windy day, so the carts were migrating where the wind would take them. I guess  cart jockeys from the stores all called out sick today, because there seriously were a lot of carts roaming the lot far away from their stores.

A young man, probably in his early twenties, smoking a butt, driving a green beat up green something or other car with NH plates, was driving around the lot, grabbing carts and pushing them to kind of a central space, and letting them go. There was a cart in the middle of the main drag, and he grabbed it, drove it, let it go and drove away.

The owner of a silver or grey something or other mobile (can you tell I don't do well with identifying cars by manufacturer? They all look the same to me) had just parked, gotten out, and was headed over to Aubuchon Hardware.

I saw the shopping cart rolling right for the silver or grey car, and the young boy in his green car with New Hampshire license plates (I did notice he had a passenger and a black dog) was headed out the Dunkin Donuts entrance.

Silver or Grey Car owner (I thought it was a lady but it was a dude with long hair, and an orange shirt on) turns around in time to see the cart heading right for his car. He chases it! He doesn't get it in time. BANG! The cart hits his car.

Dude's arms are up in the air with the international WTF! body gesture (looks sort of like "touchdown" in football but much angrier) and he goes to get in his car and I presume by his body language that it is his intent to chase the kid in the green car.

I tell my sister "Oh no! He's gonna chase the kid!" 

Here's where it gets interesting... I look up to see that the Green Car kid is driving back. He's driving back to where the car was struck by his attempt at cart-corralling failure.

Dude with the long hair gets out of his car. Kid in the green car gets out of his. It crosses my mind I may want to remember this vividly so I can testify in the court case that will obviously be coming up after they pummel the crap out of one another.

"The guy who's car got hit by the cart is yelling," I tell my sister. He's gesturing wildly. Kid in the green car is obviously explaining what he intended to do, and ... it looks like he's apologizing for hitting the guy's car with the cart.

Long hair dude that I thought was a lady is getting progressively less angry, and now...

"They're shaking hands!" I tell my sister.

"They're .... high-fiving and laughing!" I continue. I'm waiting for it... waiting for it... will it happen? Yes. It does.

"They're HUGGING!" I cheer.

Kid gets back into his green car, and Orange Shirt Long Hair Dude waves them goodbye.

What I thought was going to be an epic throwdown of mass proportions turned into a high-fiving apology lovefest. By returning to the silver or grey whatever it was car, by seizing responsibility for his actions, and by apologizing for doing wrong, this kid wins. Even if the guy had told him off, bitched him out and walked away, he still wins. But -- long hair silver car owning guy in the orange shirt accepts the apology. His anger has no further route except to grace and forgiveness. When someone is standing in front of you, taking ownership of their mistake and apologizing... the situation shifts, the dynamic changes, and with forgiveness there is laughter.

Things like that, things that don't turn out the way you would expect them to on the 6 o'clock news, give me hope.

And that, dear hearts, is a beautiful way to begin a week.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Preciousest of the Snowflakes

"I was raised up believing I was somehow unique,
like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes,
unique in each way you can see."
-Fleet Foxes

Before I begin, I will say hello to the lawyers reading my blog. Hi you guys! I hope you enjoy visiting. I hope you read entries about fun stuff I've done, or the Grinch entry, or how much I love BNL. You sure are welcome to read whatever I write.

Every day there is a Boston visitor coming into the site through my very first BOA entry, and I bet money (if I am a betting man) that it is the lawyer's office for Mordor, as it were. I think I am being monitored... but that's okay. I'm still an American with a First Amendment Right (as far as I know or can tell) so I will continue to tell stories and share my life experiences. And hopefully they enjoy the tales shared herein.

I had an interesting day at work. Jo can attest to this, as I am currently drinking the bottle of wine she gave me for the suffering I went through today.

We had two very angry parents called because they missed out on signing up for a cooking series for their kids. I understand being frustrated. They thought they had plenty of time to get in the next session, it starts the week of February 27th. But other people beat them to it. We don't give "preference" as it were to people who are current students. The classes are out there. If people want in, they sign up. We have five different sessions for this age group. Only this particular session is sold out. But these ladies were not happy. Oh no they were not.

One could say they were downright mother fucking bullshit to the max.

I have very rarely in my life been yelled at like I was yelled at today. I was not directly insulted. Nothing was personally addressed to me or to my character. But, I was told to do things like create another session so they can attend. I was told to call the people who "took" their seats and tell them they had to move to another session. I was told that our business practices were unacceptable. I was told that they, as current customers, deserve the place in the class. Far more than some other parent.

Basically, I was told that because someone didn't act quickly enough it was our fault. This happens sometimes at work. Usually with Summer Vacation classes. A lot of our sessions sell out in February, and people call in like JUNE wanting to sign up for camp, but the sessions are full. We can't crowbar a child into a session. The information goes out literally in November in our newsletter. We market it, we pimp it, we tell people about it.... and invariably someone does not sign up and then says "Well, what do you expect me to tell my daughter, who wants to be in this class?"

How about tell her that mommy didn't act soon enough and blew it? Make a note to check in with us in January next, and sign up. Okay?

Thing about all of this is, I know how it is to be disappointed on behalf of my kid. Jess once got dropped from a class in high school for no reason other than there were too many kids so they cut some, and she was one. I pitched a fit on her behalf. I got her in the class by bitching and fighting. I went to the superintendent's office. I argued. I plead my case. But I did so respectfully. I didn't literally embarrass myself by throwing a tizzy.

There comes a point where in the greater scheme of things you should ask yourself "Do I look like a Jackass right now?" If you think you might, you do.

I had come to the conclusion that these particular women are probably women who are used to always getting their way, and who do not care who they yell at or insult. They probably speak to their husbands this way when they do not get what they want. God help a nanny in their house should she ever leave a dish in the sink, unwashed. Gardeners? Landscapers? Any sort of handyman.... you guys are fucked.

It doesn't matter how they speak to people, because they do not value the services given. I honestly believe that. I've nannied for some women in Beverly Farms and Manchester who would literally freak out if I tied their kids' shoes incorrectly or picked the wrong fleece pullover to go to the park.

There is no value, no caring, no love. And hence, no respect at all.

If their "precious snowflake" doesn't get exactly what mummy feels he or she DESERVES, well then hell hath no fury, bitches.

Because in my whole life experience, I've suffered this existence, it is easy for me to just let the women spew venom like Mussolini from the Balcony, as it were. I let them have their say. But ... they will not get their way.

In the position I currently serve, and do so with a servant's heart and a happy willingness to suffer said slings and arrows of outrageous parenting, I stand my ground with no compromise. I stood it today. These women did not get what they wanted. I didn't call other parents in the next session and ask pretty please would they maybe please consider maybe please moving to another day? I put them on the wait list, let them know that if someone canceled they'd get in, and offered them the first seats in the NEXT next session, which begins in April.

They took what was put on the table. And I'm glad they did.

I am convinced in this life that there is no one in customer service that deserves to be yelled at. Back when I got the foreclosure calls in December 2010 from BOA, I lost my everloving mind on one of the guys who called me. I felt horrible about it. I to this day would like to buy that poor kid a beer. Because I know no one deserves to be assaulted, verbally or physically, when the circumstances are what they are.

And in complete honesty, I pray that these little boys grow up to be kind human beings. I know that the moms will be there next week at their class sessions, and I honestly expect that they will not go quietly. Please pray for me to have fortitude to talk to them, and let them know that this is a 3-5 year old cooking class, not the end of the fucking universe, and sometimes things do not go the way you WANT them to...

but you get, in the end, what you need.

Thanks for reading. I hope today you're blessed in situations of stress, that you are spoken to lovingly when you are frustrated, that your heart is open to someone trying to work with you to iron things out, and that you are the best you are.