As the great Charlie Peacock once sang, "Oh, I've got to say everything that's on my mind / I cannot keep it bottled up inside of me..."
I'm sitting here with a mug of chai laced with honey, fighting the inevitable case of winter bronchitis. A ten hour day of sitting near sick coworkers, and voila! The cough is developing. Mucinex and Theraflu got me through last winter, and I suspect I may need to make a restocking run over the weekend.
Weekend. Normally, this is Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for me, working my 4/10's shift. Alas, right now is our busiest time of year, and mandatory overtime is in effect to the tune of 5 hours a week. As I cannot fathom the thought of voluntarily working over 10 hours in a day (tried it once, and eleven was just. too. much.), this means one of my normally brain-dead refuse-to-leave-the-house days is marred by a trip to the office to put in something resembling an effort to be friendly and helpful. Bah humbug. This coming week, I'll be working 8 hours on the official company holiday Monday, then 10 hours Wednesday, 6 hours Thursday, 10 hours Friday and Saturday.
Oh wait, that only adds up to 44. I'm missing an overtime hour.
Work is... work. There are days that, no matter what my friend and coworker believes, I struggle to make it sound like I enjoy the job. I was a theatre minor in college, you know. I do have a bit of a talent for acting.
Then there are days when I actually do kind of like it -- believe it or not, these are not always the easy days where everyone is nice. Sometimes the really difficult calls are an opportunity to prove just how awesome you really are. I wear my Superman t-shirt, and leap tall customer service hurdles in a single bound.
Take this past Wednesday for instance.
One thing I've learned working for a mail order pharmacy is that insurance plans that require mail order for maintenance medications tend to make people angry. Mail order required plan, plus a procrastinating customer, stir in a little attitude and sense of entitlement (and a nagging wife in the background who must add her two cents), and you've got a recipe for a difficult call.
Add in a fresh-out-of-training customer service rep's oversight, a doctor's office who does not respond promptly to pharmacy requests, a past due balance for an order the customer denies ever receiving from five months ago (despite UPS package tracking showing it was signed for), and life-or-death liver transplant meds, and you've just enabled EXPERT MODE.
One split order, two mail order overrides, a courtesy credit for the allegedly lost package, a coaching request e-mail for the newbie, and a heck of a lot of apologies later, I handed off the reasonably mollified caller to our specialty pharmacy to deal with an order they were trying to finish up, took a deep breath, and with a huge grin announced to my coworkers around me, "I WIN."
You've gotta take your victories where you can find them.
I've found myself searching for those little victories quite a lot lately, especially where writing is concerned. After my last posts here on NftGB and on the Word shared blog, I spent an enormous chunk of the day on Sunday and Monday obsessively checking site stats and waiting for comments.
In between refreshes on my Typepad and WordPress dashboards, I did a little playing around with graphics for forum signatures on one of the sites I frequent, and after uploading a couple of new sig prospects for people to review, I spent an inordinate amount of time watching for replies and staring at the "times viewed" counter. It was really quite pathetic.
So I came up with a new banner and color scheme for this site, yet again, and am trying to force myself to wait until February to enable it, just on principle.
Now that she's blogging, I wonder if my mom is experiencing this deep and abiding need for feedback. I'll say one thing, her second-ever post was a doozy! She appears to have slipped right into the conversational voice of a good blogger and storyteller. And what a story.
When my dad was diagnosed with his brain tumor, I was 1500 miles away, and deeply embroiled in the hectic preparations for my wedding that was coming up in six weeks. I heard and saw only bits and pieces of what he and Mom were going through, and comprehended even less. It's hard to really fathom that kind of suffering and grief until you've walked through your own... but even if you haven't, Mom's post will inspire you. Give it a read, see for yourself.