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Monday, September 16, 2013

My Summer Or How I Managed to Survive the Past Few Months

I was originally going to leave the title of this post as "My Summer", which sounded like those papers they make your write in elementary school about your summer vacation that you have to read out loud to the class. But since I 'm an adult now, I thought I'd spice up the title a little, not to mention that "My Summer" is a little misleading since it may invoke images of traveling and having fun with friends and family and all that good stuff. Not to say that my summer was bad, but it certainly didn't include any of the usual summer activities. Just a little warning: this post is VERY long with lots and lots of reading (this is what happens when you haven't written anything in almost 3 months).




To start off, there was a lot of drama at work, which certainly surprised me since in academic settings, summer is usually a relatively quiet time with all the students away. Now by "drama", I don't mean getting smacked upside your head or told off by a co-worker, I mean dramatic events; completely unexpected crazy stuff.

We had a lot of people leaving and retiring in our office this year, and two of them left during the summer. One was my boss, who retired after working in our office for 25 years. Honestly, her retirement was a blessing for me. She was usually nice and pleasant to work with, but she had the habit of flying off the handle over any little thing. Basically, she was very easily flustered and upset. She also had worked in the main university library for 15 years and I think she got a degree or certificate in library science, which meant that she was the personification of every librarians stereotype.Anyway, she was replaced by her second in command, who, although being very nice, knows less about anything, including her job, than I do, and I've been working here for only a year! More on all this inter-office stuff later.

Then, on June 17, a lady who works in our office died...at work! She had cancer and had been getting progressively worse, and then on that day, she passed out in the office and loss consciousness. My desk is on the opposite side, and there is a wall between me and the area where all this happened, so luckily I didn't see any of it. I could hear everything, so I knew what was going on. I knew from the state she was in a few hours before, and from what I could hear that she probably wasn't going to make it, and I certainly didn't want to see someone die so I stayed at my desk. Someone from my side of the office went back to see what was going on and a few minutes later she came running back to her office crying, which just reinforced my decision to stay at my desk.

A few days later, someone from Employee Assistance came to facilitate a discussion to help people in our office. It was was supposed to be more of grief/trauma counseling for the office as a whole, but it almost turned into a Jerry Springer episode. Basically, the office was split between the people who believed that the reason the lady continued to work even though she was terminally ill was because she loved her job and wanted to spend her last days with everyone in the office (the minority opinion), and the people who blamed her family for making her continue to work and ignoring the fact that she was so sick (the majority view). As you can image, this discussion became very heated (there was a lot of voice raising, and one lady even said that she wasn't going to the funeral because she didn't even want to be around the family), and the Employee Assistance got had to step in to calm things down.

My opinion: I think it is ridiculously naive (especially for educated adults) to think that someone, no matter how much they enjoy their job and the people they work with, would want to go to work even though they terminally ill and getting worse day by day. Do you think if I found out that I only had a few months to live that I would be spending 8 hours a day at work? No way, even though I do like my job and I get along with everyone there! I think she kept working because she had to. Apparently, she was the only one in her family who was working (two of her kids were in college, one daughter was out of school but apparently not working (not sure what the story there was), and her husband was out of work due to health problems/disability (our director thinks it's some type of mental disability)), so naturally she would continue to work since everyone was depending on her for material and financial support.

On a happier note, I finally got my cat!! I've had this cat since I was 6 years old, but when my parents divorced a couple of years ago, my cat stayed in Georgia with my dad. We kept trying to get him to fly her to us, but he was always coming up with excuses to keep holding her hostage. When my cat scratched my dad's third (yes third!!) wife's little girl he started talking about giver her away to someone at his job, so we basically had to pay for everything and handle all the arrange to get her shipped to us by air.

I was a little worried that she might not survive the two hour flight because she is 18 years old and she is very nervous and anxious anyway. But she arrived alive and well on July 2, and she still remembered me and my mom after 2 years! We had to move into another apartment about a month later, and she took this move very good as well, and has been adjusting to everything very quickly.

Speaking of our new apartment...Finally, after nearly 6 years, I get my own room again!!! I haven't had my own room since I was in high school because I had roommates all through college (except for second semester junior year, and when I came home during the summer). We were supposed to move into our new apartment on June 1, but they found out that the apartment needed a new ceiling in one of the bedrooms, and we wanted the it painted with our choice of paint colors. So the move in date was pushed back to med-June. Then they found out that there was a leak somewhere in the ceiling and that the need to call professional roofers to come in (and apparently they needed a permit for this which added to the wait time), and the maintenance guy's son who was supposed to do all of the painting and fixing up decided he didn't want to work anymore and just randomly disappeared for several weeks. In the end, my mom had to get an independent contractor who works for our apartment realty office to do everything, and he even offered to help us move the heavy stuff! We were finally able to move in August 10th, after almost 2 months of waiting!!

That's all for now, but I'll have pictures of my new room and apartment in a later post.

12 comments:

  1. You've been through a lot this Summer! I'm so sorry to hear about the lady who had to work through her illness. That's the saddest story I've heard in a long time. To be terminally ill and have to go out that way. So sad. Wow, your former boss knew a lot. I respect her for that. There's so many people now that do not know their jobs. It's important that you do. Congratulations on getting your cat and new room. I know you're a happy girl.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. Yeah, it was a pretty hectic summer. But for all the bad, there was a lot of good too.

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  2. Can't wait to see your new room!

    Also, WOW regarding what happened at work. I don't fault you at all for staying where you were and not going to the other side. I think I'd be traumatized.

    7% Solution

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  3. what a crazy few months! hope things calm down soon :)

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    1. Yeah, actually things have calmed down so much that I'm ready for some excitement now!

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  4. A lot has happened! Things can happen/change so quickly.
    On another note though, I look forward to seeing new images of your space =D
    xo,
    nancy

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    1. Thanks! It might be a while on the pics though, I've been a little preoccupied lately.

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  5. i love this post, very inspires me

    http://theminimalistchic.blogspot.fr/

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  6. it is ridiculous for someone to still go to work when they are getting worse, but maybe there's some factors that require them to work such as they need the finance to support others or need the finance to cover her funeral? It's inspiring and foolish at the same time. And def not fair for the people in the office to have to see her dealing through that, but different strokes for different folks I guess!

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    1. I know, right! I completely agree. It was very hard to keep looking at her day after day getting worse to the point that I knew she didn't have long to live. I think there was some financial hardship in her family, which would explain a lot of what was going on.

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