Wednesday is the new Monday.
I’ve been here for 15 years, and I’ve long since stopped fighting it. People just come to me with stuff they can’t figure out, because apparently they’re under the impression that I can figure anything out. Which isn’t the worst reputation to have, I’ll admit that, but it does lead to some very weird things taking bites out of my productivity — none of which are actually in my job description. Or within shouting distance of my job description.
I’ve had people come to me for help with everything from editing videos to running a sound board to cracking open locked PowerPoint templates to explaining what a document retention policy is to figuring out how to set up a projector to trimming mp3 files. Once, someone asked me to edit the adult out of a picture so it looked like the baby in the Superman outfit was actually flying.
Today, it was a PDF. There were links all over the PDF, except none of them were actually linked to anything. For a long, emotionally-fraught moment, I seriously entertained the idea that someone had gone through a Word doc, made a bunch of fake links by coloring the text blue and underlining it, saved it as a PDF, and then sent it to me and asked what was wrong with it… just to mess with my head.
I may be going insane, but there are definitely people around here who should be credited with an assist.
Then this happened.
Business meeting. The speaker’s phone vibrates. She quickly silences it without breaking stride. A few minutes later, it vibrates again. She apologizes and silences it again. Someone makes a joke about how she’s popular today.
She jokes back, “It’s the same person calling, so I’m not sure if that’s good news or bad news.”
She starts to talk again, getting the meeting back on track, when guy-who-never-shuts-up interrupts her and says, “Well, if it’s a dog calling, then it’s good news. Then you can sell him and get rich.”
I hardly heard anything that anyone said after that. I was stuck in “what the actual fuck?!” gear for the rest of the meeting. That comment broke my brain.
Now I can’t stop wondering if I’m the one who’s crazy. Did he actually say that? Why would someone say something like that? To be funny? Should I have thought it was funny? Did I imagine the whole thing? After he said it, there was a long pause, and then everyone tried to pretend that he didn’t say it. So it can’t just be me… right?
I mean… that’s just fucking weird, right?
And then this happened.
No, alcohol isn’t the answer for everything. It’s not an answer for anything (except perhaps when applied topically).
But some days, you just really need a damn glass of wine. It’s nice to know that my wine cellar1 has been restocked in the nick of time.
1When I say “wine cellar”, I mean the basement2.
2When I say “basement”, I actually mean the closet under the stairs in the basement, where the wine rack3 lives4.
3And by “wine rack”, I mean the cheapo superfluous DVD rack that I discovered can hold up to 16 bottles of wine on their sides.
4It has to live in a closet because cats apparently love the sound of glass smacking into other glass.
Maybe I just need a vacation.
Apparently, I was thinking that a little too loudly, because I’ve been informed that I’m being sent to D.C. a little later this year. Which is not a vacation. Normally, it would probably feel like a vacation, because any time away from this nuthouse feels like a vacation, but I’m deeply ambivalent about the idea of spending time in the nation’s capital right now.
I got a look at the schedule, and I’ll have one free afternoon for sightseeing.
When people heard about it, they immediately surrounded me and proceeded to inundate me with suggestions. Several people mentioned cherry blossoms, two waxed positively poetic about some arboretum, a few mentioned art museums, and all of them suggested national monuments of one flavor or another. Eventually, someone actually asked me where I wanted to go.
Me: “Three words: International. Spy. Museum. … … … What?”
I mean, seriously, I can see trees ANYWHERE. There’s only ONE place where I can see the “largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display.”
They just don’t get me.
You know those days?
Days where everything just feels a little off. Slightly askew. Inexplicably off-kilter. I used a phrase today — a phrase that I thought was pretty freaking common — but the person I was talking to stopped me and insisted that the phrase wasn’t a phrase. Wasn’t a thing. They’d never heard it before. Of course I Googled it, and it is a thing. Not a new thing, either. It was even specifically described as a “common phrase”. So now I’m left wondering if it is common and I was just talking to a weirdo, or if it isn’t common and the internet just doesn’t know that yet. And how is that even something that I’m wondering about?
Then there was this other thing that was utterly weird. This guy was chatting with a woman at another meeting — just idle chat before the meeting started. I wasn’t paying any attention. Suddenly, the woman pushed a piece of paper across to me, saying, “Here, you like these things, do you know this one?”
I glanced at it, laughed, and said, “Oh, yeah, that’s an easy one.” The guy whose piece of paper it was snapped, “Oh, well you must be a genius then, if that’s easy for you,” snatched the piece of paper back, and didn’t so much as look at me for the rest of the meeting. He was completely and utterly offended.
What was on the piece of paper was this:
“As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats.
Every cat had seven kits.
Kits, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?”
It never occurred to me that the reason they were talking about it was because he couldn’t figure it out. I had this idea in my head that this was something everyone had heard at some point, which meant that everyone knew the answer. (Or, at least one of the possible answers.) I wasn’t trying to be rude. I honestly never would have thought of it as a freaking brain teaser. It’s a bloody nursery rhyme, for crap’s sake. It was in a freaking Die Hard movie!
I wish people would warn us about days like these. Then I could roll over when my alarm goes off, give it the finger, go back to sleep, and try again on Thursday.