I think everyone has one of those days. You know the days. The ones that people say there is apparently a right side and a wrong side of the bed, and apparently you picked the one that wasn’t on the bed at all? Today, much to the chagrin and terror of the rest of the denizens of this planet, was that day for me.
It wasn’t really any one specific incident of the waking process that I could pinpoint as the culprit to which all fault and blame could be attributed. Honestly, it seemed a bit like any other morning waking up before the sun has even made an attempt to rise and stumbling around in the morning routine of gleaning respectable appearance out of what appears to be the living dead.
Part of the morning ritual is to listen to the news, or more correctly the weather from the large conglomerate affiliate who has the misnomer that would lead you to think they reported the weather but predominantly spends their time discussing everything else BUT the weather. Yet, I still turn to the channel every morning hoping to catch the local information that is provided six times every hour in between snappy bits of banter and news fluff. Once the cleanliness factor and general decisions of the wardrobe are made, I also like to spend my time gathering other pertinent news information for my day from a more reliable media source… yep, Facebook. Admit it, you all do this, too. You scan through looking to see who has birthdays and who has posted a Huffington Post article or other shared story, video, completely unverified rumor. We all do it. Snopes is my validity checker when I catch hold of a story too incredible to believe. Occasionally, I have been known to get excited and share without validation, to my shame; but generally, I like to check the trajectory before I pull the trigger. However, I digress.
This morning, the perfect storm occurred to send my lack of appropriate egress from the bed into a juggernaut of negativity that would permeate my day and make me a danger to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It started with, of all things, the fact that something must have been wrong with the local feed to the national weather center, and when it came time for the hourly summary that would give me a 50% accurate prediction of what would be comfortable attire for the day… I got a national summary that told me precisely dick about the weather conditions currently existing outside my windows. Secondly, the news fluff of the day was a collection of catastrophizing reports from both sides of the platform as the pundit spoke out of both sides of his mouth damning one side of the government of their support of the economic budget, and damning the other for not doing so. I can’t imagine why the American public is particularly ignorant when attempting to formulate opinions or decisions about any aspect of our political or economic climate. Given my own current financial woes, I felt the need to vent in my usual sarcastic style with a bit of snarky satire illustrating the foolishness of our current political predicament. I chose as my own media… you guessed it, Facebook. Oh dear, was that a mistake. Once again proving that pre-coffee communication is something I should avoid like the plague, but can lead to a plethora of amusements and/or blatant despair (for my intellect and sanity) for my friends.
Sadly, it seems that predawn snark is not always understood by all my followers (I don’t really think that “followers” is the accurate, but it makes me feel so messianic). It prompted a sudden rebuttal that led to a reaction which developed into a fit and resulted in a right ticking off. All in all, not exactly how I thought that post would go. On the other hand, what could I expect when I apparently exited the bed from no side whatsoever. Add to all that a news story of completely appalling tone which indicates that despite science telling us that we have evolved as a species, the violence inherent in the system still can turn the alleged implements of law and order into hyenas that prey on the weak and ill. I was literally nauseated by the report that courts had vindicated the fatal beating of a mentally ill young man in California by two police officers. It is not that I doubt that the man with Schizophrenia was violent. I am sure that he was, influenced by his illness, paranoia, and whatever sensory stimuli his brain provided. However, I also fail to understand why it was necessary to beat him to death rather than taking a step back and using training (perhaps they don’t get as broad training over on the west coast as we hillbilly hicks in Tennessee have been providing for many decades now) on identifying the mentally ill and deescalating the situation. I don’t mean to armchair quarterback the law enforcement, but in reading the transcripts of the trial, I was just sickened by the lack of advocacy provided to the victim or his parents.
At any rate, I’m sure that you can see that my day had started off in a general confluence of love and light. Not so much. By the time I had driven through the morning commuter traffic, I could already feel the muscles attached to my jaws tightening and the headache coming on. For the love of Pete! It’s only Tuesday! Entering my humble place of work, I found that I was a staff member down for yet another day. Every job has its quotas or metrics to meet. Whether it is a productivity standard or a profit margin at market close, we all have them. The problem is that when your workforce is decreased by a third, that really cuts into the numbers. It would be just fine, I told myself, though I could hear Mary Chapin Carpenter starting to sing in the back of my head “The stars are stacked against you girl, get back in bed!”
While I won’t digress into the various troubling aspects of technology, I will remark that the day soon turned from bad to murderous as the helpless desk to which we are beholding for all things technologically broken apparently had not seen the memo that they should tread lightly around me. “Watch out for her, bro. She’s loaded with venomous darts and buckshot.” Nope. Wayne, the bane of my office existence (I do hope he somehow reads this, but I doubt seriously that he can define most of the words) is a helpdesk serf who was specially trained like a force recon ninja with the deadly skills of rudeness, insincerity, and stupidity. This, indeed, is a deadly trio. I’ve had the misfortune to deal with him twice, and both times he manages to put that soupçon of derision in every “polite” term it is obvious that he is forced by some customer service nazi to use. (Ma’am… Who knew that could be divided into 14 syllables by a Yankee?)
I honestly wondered for a brief moment if the full-blown tantrums of the young were as cathartic as they appeared, and then pondered for a moment what my employees would do if their director threw herself down in an undignified heap and started wailing away like a foghorn while kicking and screaming… And that did it. The image of myself pitching the mother of all hissy fits while my staff stood agape with horror sent me off into paroxysms of laughter that had tears rolling down my face.
Shortly after, the goddess in form of my business systems liaison suggested I cart my sorry self to the main office for the blessed (relative) peace of the main office, where there is an ever flowing stream of extra-strong coffee. I gladly accepted and spent the rest of my day contemplating spreadsheets and the continued vision of my imaginary tantrum. By the end of the day, I found myself almost human and re-read the initial rant that started my downhill slide.
Rolling with laughter, the unbidden audio tract ran through my head, remembered from a Dewars commercial: “Go back ta sleep, Angus darlin’… All hail the drinkin’ man!”