Saturday, February 02, 2008

Whoever Invented Rope Was a Real A-Hole

After my depressing weekend a couple of weeks ago, several good things happened, which was kind of a refreshing and unusual way to have a period of gloom abate. It will always pass on its own, sooner or later, and often it teaches me something, but actual good events are welcome, too.

For one thing, I found out that my little essay on cycling had been accepted by KQED, the local NPR affiliate. Once I sent it in, I forgot about it entirely, so was pleasantly surprised to get an email from the editor of the series saying it was worthwhile and asking me to call him.

When I did, he asked, “Are you one of those cyclists who blocks my way when I’m trying to drive? God damn you.”

I will go record my essay for broadcast once the flu is entirely gone; my voice is kind of raspy the past few days. While waiting to do that, I got some excellent suggestions from David in regard to the organization of my little piece. I hated to bug the Perspectives editor again, but finally decided David’s suggestions were too good not to use, so I sent another draft incorporating them.

Another good thing that happened was finally having a breakthrough in regard to the same parking garage that affords me many breakthroughs, because it affords me so many periods of anxiety. (Could that garage be my higher power?)

One of the parking attendants had idly mentioned that a change to the bike parking was in the works, so I called the building manager to find out what she was planning and to make sure she was aware of the considerations cyclists would have. It turned out there was a new manager, the fifth since I began calling them. I left her a message and she didn’t call me back, so I gave it a week or so and tried again.

The period of phone tag eventually stretched to eight weeks, during which I received one voice mail. I had to remind myself to be patient, and not to indulge in thoughts that the manager was dissing me. For all I knew, she was a perfectly lovely person I would like a lot and simply busy, though I will say I don’t let people wait longer than 24 hours for a response to a work-related call.

I was starting to entertain thoughts of involving her boss, the strategy known in the workplace as “escalating” and in families with children as “I’m telling on you.”

Finally, I threw myself on the mercy of her assistant, who has been there from my first call years ago, and said I was having trouble reaching the manager and that I didn’t want her to feel pestered, but did he think she might be amenable to an email?

He said he would see if she was free, and if not, sending an email sounded fine. As it happened, she was there, and we spoke, and she is working on a change, which she described in detail, and it sounds just fine. She is obviously planning things carefully. Thus eight weeks of low-grade stewing ended, which was fantastic.

I finally went back to work this past Thursday, in a cab, now that I’ve decided bikes are for losers. That is, the day I suddenly got so sick, I had ridden my bike to work in a downpour, so I secretly blame it.

I found that my coworker had ended up getting the same thing, and like me, had spent two days unable to get out of bed. Neither of us was feeling that great even by Thursday, but I was sick of burning PTO days.

During one of my days in bed, there was a period when I could hear someone moaning on every out-breath, and even though I knew it had to be me, it seemed like it was some other person entirely, some person I had nothing to do with.

I told my coworker about how Tom brought me the omelet and she was impressed. She said that was more nursing than she’d gotten from her actual husband.

I think my therapist reads this and so was hoping she’d call me and tell me what to do about moving to Michigan. I used to have quite a close friend who was in therapy and now and then would mention that she had said something about me to her therapist.

I liked this, because I trusted that her therapist would speak up if she heard anything seriously amiss: “Tell Linda skydiving is a young person's game” or “I hear real estate in Florida is heading south, no pun intended” or some such. Now and then, I would ask, “How’s your therapist think I’m doing?”

Last night Tom and I saw Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory, which we have seen before, with Tom's nephew, Chris, and from which comes the title of this post. Today I went to Rainbow, in a cab, and tomorrow I hope to do some cooking.

1 comment:

lisajean1015 said...

Love your definition of "escalation." That's exactly what it's like. It makes everyone feel yucky, but it sometimes works; I have been having a problem with my work computer ever since I moved to Seattle — we're talking about five months here — and after pinging a certain IT guy by email and voice mail every week since early December, this past week I finally copied my boss — not his, but it was still a sign I meant business — whereupon she promptly sent the guy a message herself. Lo, I got a real live phone call from the guy within a half an hour. My problem's still not solved, but at least I'm getting attention, which is the main thing a kid wants anyway.