Monday morning was the day my team was scheduled to go back into the office... Well, BACK for most of them, but it was the FIRST day for me. I was hired during quarantine and have been working from home for over a year now.
USUALLY, I am prepared for things like this... well, mostly prepared. I have that on-top-of-everything attitude with a pinch of procrastination though. Usually, the procrastination happens with other things I need to work on, like putting off work by working on other work, if that makes sense.
WELL, that’s what I did. SO, Sunday night, I planned on going to bed early, but I ended up watching a movie and then a couple of episodes of a hilarious show about monsters going to work (must watch) that I ended up dooming myself a day like Tylor had in the first episode... something I literally didn’t make the connection about until JUST NOW as I am writing this.
SO, I set fifteen alarms, hear them, don’t press snooze, BUT STILL END UP AWAKENING LIKE LESS THAN AN HOUR BEFORE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE THERE.
DRAT. I rush to get ready. You know how I said ‘mostly prepared’? Thankfully I had my bag packed, my purse, my outfit, and everything else already laid out. I took an at-home covid test and was supposed to log my results before coming in, though. While I was negative for the test, PROBLEM: I had forgotten to download the app thingy.
Friday, I put off calling tech support to help because it was such a task with all this company stuff and I was feeling quite overwhelmed. It’s not as simple as downloading an app lol. I am moderately tech-savvy enough to do that. BUT THERE WERE SEVEN DIFFERENT APPS IN THE PLAYSTORE WITH THE SAME NAME. Then, I had to download the company network app, and call tech support to let me in.
WELP. I ended up calling my boss on the way to the office and she was driving so there was hardly anything she could do. I hung up with her and called tech support, praying there was something they could do to help me even if I wasn’t sitting in front of a computer.
Got to the building, got dropped off, still on hold with the techie.
I asked the receptionist and she said the tech guy couldn’t help me. My boss would have to approve my entry. SO, I hung up with tech support (LOSING MY PLACE IN LINE) and called my boss again. My boss asked how to approve my entry. The receptionist didn’t know. She called her boss and he said I NEEDED TO CALL TECH SUPPORT AND THEY WOULD HELP ME PUT THE APP ON MY PHONE.
Wow. Okay. Back on the tech line. Waited about thirty more minutes this time. FINALLY, tech guy got me all set up. WHEW! So relieved. At this point, I am already thirty minutes late. I go to the elevators and scan my badge. ACCESS DENIED.
WHAT ON EARTH. Does it take a while to register? The receptionist said nope.
Then, she asked, “Is this the building you work in?”
I facepalmed when I said the address and she shook her head.
“The other building is across the street. That’s the one you work in.”
SO EMBARRASSED, I headed outside and pulled up my map app.
She felt so sorry for me she literally got out from behind the desk and came outside.
“Just cut through this park. It’s right across the street,” she said.
I didn’t know where I was going but I thanked her and got to walking. My map app still hadn’t loaded GRRR DOWNTOWN WEAK SIGNALS but I went around the fountain and concessions and everything and then I saw it. She was right. I had remembered this building, and I felt so messed up for not paying attention before.
I crossed the street and went in.
Since working from home, they had sent me a desktop computer tower. They told me to keep the monitors, but to turn in the tower and its power cord for a laptop. I wondered where to do this, so I asked the receptionists at this desk. They said, “Probably upstairs.”
Totally dismissing the large balloon bouquet behind me and a large sign facing the other entrance, I went to the elevators. I scanned my badge and thankfully, it worked.
.........which floor again?
I clicked 9. Just guessing at this point. Got on with a guy I didn’t recognize, so when it got to 9, he got off and I looked around. I didn’t recognize this floor either. 9 was sticking out in my mind, and I remembered my co-workers joking about how they had to do fire drills climbing down so many flights of stairs. Then, I thought to see just how many floors this building had.
OVER TWENTY. YIKES.
Got back on, went to 14. GRRR. Those doors were locked when I tried to get in. This couldn’t be my floor. My badge didn’t even work to get in there. AHHHHH Text my boss;
[Which floor are we on again? I’m horrible today. So sorry. :facepalm_emoji:]
I had the nine right.
FINALLY got there. Found my desk. Saw my team. About an hour late at this point. Cleaned the area as instructed and sat down to work but....
OH NO. I didn’t turn in my gear and get a laptop.
I went over to a familiar face. I asked him where to go. He had no idea. He was given a laptop from the start (many others were too). I asked the floor assistant and he said...
YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID?
On the first floor when you first come in.
I remembered the balloons.
I remembered the sign.
I remember the people sitting at the tables that I saw through the glass.
I screamed internally.
I went back down, turned it in, got my laptop, came back up, sat down, plugged it in, and we had a meeting. Went to the meeting, came back, sat down, exactly one hour and ten minutes late, I clocked in.
WHAT A DAY.
And, it didn’t exactly end there. I had to contact tech support two more times to help download programs on this laptop that I had on my other computer.
THEN, it was FREEZING in the office. I had been warned. When I worked at the preschool for four years, it was the exact same way. People love air conditioning. I DON’T. I get super cold super fast, so I go outside for break and sit in the hot hot heat to thaw out. UNFORTUNATELY, it rained. And there were no sheltered seats with awnings or umbrellas, so I just had to freeze my butt off.
Other than that, first day back was alright. They had fruit cups and bagels.
I got some work done, saw some co-workers in real life, and, best of all, I’m prepared for the next time.
Got home and literally collapsed of exhaustion though.
I lost control of my car
down a wet highway
at night in the summertime
steering wheel spinning
the cement divider
coming at me
a car behind me
and because it was the country
and maybe with some spirituality
came the field of grass
that cradled my spun out wheels
in the mud there was traction
my car at an angle
the car behind me
whipping by at eighty mph
I rolled down my window
breathed in the wet highway
slick with the promise of daylight
and drove off into the nighttime
a brief tip toward a pinnacle, or the epitome of a downfall
When fellow citizens and I creep quickly down wet interstate paths in dark, pouring rain, … most are heedful of the dangers. I cling to the steering wheel trying to peer through wet pools to make out faded white lines indicative of our separate ruts. My headlights seem too faint, illuminating next to nothing. We are mostly of one mind.
This is that irresistible time. This overpowering thing is chaotic, like nothing we’ve experienced. If not overwhelmed, we soon will be. It’s fine to change lanes, if need be. Sometimes you have to switch, for the greater good, for the furtherment of all.