on 07 April 2008

Incidentally, the following stories are TRUE and actually happened to ME.

July 2007: The Workplace.

I have made no secret of my allergy woes. It seems that I am allergic to EVERY deciduous plant EAST of the Mississippi river. And so it happens that from early March until December my sinuses govern my life rather forcefully. And messily. But that's for another blog.

So I struggled through the spring and early summer taking off occasional days that my sinuses deemed unlivable. One day, after one of these unlivable days, one of the women with whom I work met me at my desk. She came right in to my cubical, picked up my phone book, picked up my phone and dialed the walk-in clinic on campus. She's an odd woman anyway so I didn't think much of it until she asked for my insurance card. At which point I looked at her and said, "Um. Why?" and she said, "I'm making a doctor's appointment for you. You have a chronic condition and it needs to be addressed."

Let's just say that I was a bit affronted by this information. I am a competent adult. My MOTHER doesn't make doctor's appointments for me so I can't understand why this woman with whom I work feels that she has the authority to do such a thing. But I had been lectured before about the necessity to go along with whatever the professional types say and do and not making waves or ruffling feathers, so in a state of shock and disbelief I hand over my insurance card.

She made the appointment for 2pm. And in the same state of shock and disbelief I walked to the clinic, sat for the appointment, received the prescription for my lovely, lovely allergy meds and walked back to work where I could only look at my supervisor (who had overheard the entire thing) and shake my head.

Up until last week I thought that perhaps it was just this one woman. That she's just an oddball and so I mostly treat her like a slightly insane person whom I greet with smiles and nods and then merrily go my own way.

April 2008: The Workplace. Again.

The Day of the Glucose Test. And having your blood sugar messed with sort of wrecks you for the day, so I was just trying to stay afloat for those last 4 hours at work and made the mistake of mentioning in an email that I had had some lab work done that morning and so was feeling sort of *off.* A different woman with whom I work (and one of my favorites for a variety of reasons and not just because for Administrative Professionals Day last year she gave me a hefty gift card to a local book store) came by my desk and said, "What did they do to you?" And so I explained the glucose test and what all it entailed and that I was just feeling really tired that day but much of it was bound to be due to my blood sugar being all wonky.

So then she says, "Well. What if we set up a cot for you in my office. You could sleep in the afternoons." Which, yes, very sweet, but not terribly realistic. So I reminded her that I also work with 14 other professionals and that they probably wouldn't appreciate it if I just disappeared for an hour in the afternoons; and that my supervisor would really NOT appreciate it if she had to pick up my slack so that I could NAP. I knew all of this when I got pregnant. I knew that I would be working right up until the baby comes, I knew that I would be tired, I knew that I would just suck it up because that's what millions of women the world over DO.

Wednesday comes and the UPS man comes in with a Coleman Cot in a box for delivery for this one woman. I stare at it and think to myself, "Oh please, someone say she didn't buy this for me when I told her not to and everyone will hate me and think that I am a selfish, LAME pregnant girl who didn't think through the consequences of her choices in choosing to become pregnant!" But I smile and sign for it and put it in her office and pretend la la LA that maybe she's going on a camping trip! With her family! In the woods! And wants a cot for that! But didn't want it to sit on her doorstep! In her very nice neighborhood!

So Thursday comes and she slips in and says, "Did you see your cot!? Tomorrow I'm bringing a pillow and blanket for you!" At which I can only mutter feeble thanks and wish to melt into the floor.

Friday morning dawns and I'm setting up a speaker phone in the conference room for her meeting and she tells me that I'm all set, that I just need to look under her desk and it's all there any time I need to, I can just slip in there and lay down for a bit.

It's all incredibly sweet. But also a little creepy. And I have one question to ask: What is it about me that says, "I am a helpless street urchin, please take care of me."


Miss Sarah in Georgia said...

I respectfully disagree. I don't think there is something about you that says, "I am a helpless street urchin, please take care of me." I think you are the kind of person that takes care of others selflessly and doesn't always take care of herself. You are also an independent enough person that people are able to reach out and help you without the fear that they will always have to help you. I think you are blessed to work with people who recognize your strength and choose to reach out to you. Just my two cents ...

Tess said...

One of my coworkers used to lay down during the afternoons when she was pregnant in the breakroom. She clocked out first, but it was no biggee. No one minded (I sure didn't, I'm her boss).

~SH~ said...

HA!! Don't you just love workplace!! :)

Oh, and I like sarah's two cents. Sounds like good reasoning to me! Just sayin'.

C said...

Oh how I miss the comfy couch in my old office :) It certainly wasn't there for the students ;)

Katrina said...

haha, that is great. I kinda wish I had a cot set up somewhere to nap on in the afternoons. But I also get how it's slightly creepy for her to go to so much trouble.

Whimsy said...

The cot story just kills me. There was a time (a few jobs ago) when I had my own office with a door and everything. I was on a new birth control med and it made me HORRIBLY sick. I couldn't stand to keep missing work, so on the really bad barfy-feeling days, I would close & lock my door - AND LAY UNDERNEATH MY DESK until the barfy feelings either abated or came to, um, FRUITION.

I wish you much cot-sleeping success. You know you have to use it now that she's bought the darn thing for you. Please take a picture when it happens. I can't stand not having photographic evidence.