New Year, New Life, New Drama

So I’m officially a full time employee again, for the first time in ten years! It’s a remote gig, so I get to work from home in my own little basement office (which I happily share with the camping gear, holidays decorations, and one efficient little sump pump). It’s a bit low on light, and the cat periodically comes in to hunt for mice in the storage space behind me, but it’s better than the card table beside my bed that I had been using, so I’ll take it!

I was super excited about my $4 thrift store find of a Grandmother clock! It chimes on the hour and keeps time beautifully. SO FUN! Unfortunately, when you orient to a new job during Covid, you do a crap ton of Zoom calls. Fun fact, Zoom calls and Grandmother clocks (let’s throw in sump pumps while we’re at it) do not mix well at all! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to lunge for my mic button in the midst of a conversation at the top of the hour, or on a particularly rainy day. The chimes are clearly audible through the mic (I’ve asked) and while I did post this pic on Facebook, NOT.ONE.PERSON. pointed out the error of my ways. C’mon hive mind, you’re letting me down!

But life is all about adjustments, and this season is no different. I can not tell you how many times I have opened my door to find both kids and the family dog lined up outside my office, each with a laundry list of needs, complaints, and general grievances. As if their father were not completely available upstairs. As if all problems were somehow assigned to the mother of the household, dontcha know?

But the line up was short lived, at least for Grover dog, who quickly found out that the door knob to my office was installed backwards by the previous owner. This means that one swift shove by nose or by paw, and that door swings open wide with no regard for who’s doing what on the other side. This is how one black and white house cow crashed my one-on-one meeting with the CEO of our company! Yeah, good times. He just wanted to be closer to mom… and maybe my portable radiator.

Like my work slippers? Remote work perks!

As per our usual method of operation, we pulled this office together with limited cash output. We had the table, Native table cover, and radiator already. I bought a small second hand table lamp for $3 at Savers, some dollar store cactus decorations, and snagged a used office chair my neighbor was giving away. My kids made me art, and the small silver framed picture of my Beloved is a favor from our wedding thirteen years ago!

Things have been chugging right along, I’m over the hardest part of orientation and am closing in on becoming independent in my work load. This is a pretty crucial part of the nurse case management learning curve. I was starting to get my footing with this position, and feeling a pretty good about it all.

Manchild came down to visit me this week while Captain Schenanigans was virtually meeting with the school board about home schooling. I welcomed him to my corner of the house, then tilted back on my hand-me-down desk chair and thought again that despite having no arm rests, I was thankful it reclined. Actually, it does not. In the blink of an eye I was bottoms over tea kettle due to my broken chair deciding it was finished providing services. As I fell over backwards, my son’s eyes went HUGE and my foot kicked over the radiator. Manchild jumped back, fairly certain the entire house was now going to engulf in flames and we’d end up living in the barn. Thankfully, kerosene heaters are merely a childhood memory of my grandmother’s house to me, and this very safe radiator only needed to be set up right and we were back in business. So long as I liked standing.

That red part should not be visible. There’s a reason it’s red. That’s the emergency ejection button, post ejection!

Since the day I started this new job, by the time my work day ends I am mind numbingly blasted. Add to that the fact that it’s cold outside. It’s usually dark. I am generally hangry after work, and I’m not interested in going anywhere when the day ends! This makes obtaining a new desk chair (and finding energy to blog), kinda difficult. But you know who does have a sporadically used, super lovely, comfy desk chair? Captain Schenanigans, Manchild’s full time homeschool teacher! Now Captain has launched his own AV company, CMD Technology, for which he does use his office. But not during daylight hours what with his child education side hustle. SOooooo… now we have joint custody of the chair. Today is my day with the chair, and I am happily enjoying every bit of these arm rests and squishy seating. It’s like a throne for professionals. I feel like such a grown up!

In my defense, I did check one store in person for a chair, of which they had one sad little armless model that was cheaply made and had no lumbar support, sitting alone in a box on the shelf. No, thanks. I hesitate to order online without testing a chair (not to mention it would take 6 months to get here with our sloth-speed mail service these days), but am starting to see no alternatives. Second hand office chairs are usually mostly broken, and I need something for the long haul. This is just one more thing on the long growing list of stuff that will have to get done “sometime” since I’ve started working full time. Committing to 40 hours a week away from your life really does take a chunk out of your “getting stuff done” time. I’m still not quite sure how the rest of the world does it!

As for the remainder of my chair, well, we’re not exactly fill-up-the-landfill kinda people, and believed there was still more to be done with the parts. And by we, I mean Manchild. Once he spied that broken seat he called dibs and launched into orbit by sitting in it with his knees in the air and his back on the floor, full on astronaut style. Manchild was instantly the pilot of his very own space ship of one. Later in the day I found him using it as a gaming chair while doing spelling games on the tablet. This morning there were fights as Girlchild wanted a turn in the broken chair, and Manchild was not sharing. Seriously, fighting like junkyard dogs over broken furniture, this is what we’ve come to? Apparently, yes. So Commander Girlchild got a wooden folding chair, laid it on it’s back on the ground, and commanded her own spaceship. Because she could. Because she’s Girlchild.

I did try to throw out the remainder of the stand and wheel base of the chair, but again was met with resistance from Manchild. To his credit, those wheels could easily repurpose into some sort of S.T.E.M project of homeschooling merit. In reality, we live at the top of a very steep hill with a boy with a very high pain tolerance. I gently suggested he house it in the garage (rather than my living room) for the time being, and will let his father handle the situation when it re-arises. What? I can’t handle everything? I have work to do, you know!

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