This may be rambling and nonsensical, and I probably shouldn't even post about this so close to bedtime because I'll get myself all riled up but...
Today I really could have gotten one of my coworkers in big trouble had I decided to report him to Human Resources for laughing in my face and taunting me for standing up to him and telling him he was being inappropriate, which he was. At least *I* think he was. When there's a freebie table with books on it, and several of them are travel guides, you don't pick up the one about Mexico and wave it derisively at a fellow employee who you KNOW is on the Diversity Resource Council, while making noise about "why would anyone want to go to Mexico" and following that up with a bunch of Tea Party-ish comments about Mexicans and crime and etc. blahblahblah. And when the person you're saying this to looks at you and says, "Don't start with me, Jim," several times, you DON'T laugh at them and slowly retreat towards your office (the boiler room, in this case...he's our maintenance guy) while continuing right on with the same string of bigotry, especially when the person you're saying this to tells you straight up that you're being offensive. And when you finally make it to your office door, you REALLY don't close it so you can hide behind it and giggle uproariously, knowing full well that the person you just offended can hear you. Or maybe you do...if you're a stupid loutish bigot who has been called on the carpet by Human Resources in the past for sending unsolicited offensive political e-mails to coworkers.
Maybe I'm just too nice a person...I don't want to be responsible for someone losing their job. Or maybe I'm just a coward for not going straight to HR. I did stand up to his nasty bigotry the best I could without losing it myself. I wish I knew a way to make it a teachable moment, although I've learned from past experience that it's very difficult to educate the willfully ignorant. There's a part of me that wonders what kind of teachable moment may have occurred had one of our Mexican-American employees happened to walk by while this was going on. Maybe one of them would have been braver than I was. /rant
Stopping by to say hey to my LJ folks. I'm still way too busy...went back to work after my four-day weekend and insanity reigned. We're so slammed that my coworker finally e-mailed our supervisor to let her knew we seriously CANNOT handle what they're throwing at us, so I guess we're meeting tomorrow. I have all fingers and toes crossed that something will be taken off our plate, because neither Joan nor I can take much more before we crack.
On a happier note, speaking of my four-day weekend, what fun! Picked up my aunt on Friday and ferried her around until she left Monday morning. My sister and her family arrived via the red-eye on Saturday morning, having gotten no sleep, but they hung in there really well for the rehearsal and the wedding and the dinner afterwards. My niece and nephew stole the show -- they're SO adorable -- and my new stepdad was winking and saying humorous things during the ceremony and my mom was radiant, and it was altogether delightful (aside from my shoes making my feet hurt, LOL!). Got to meet and chat with four of my six new stepsiblings. Much family time ensued on Sunday and Monday, which of course included lots of eating...my doG, I can't remember the last time I ate so much! Barbecue, an upscale casual restaurant, the retirement community's quite elaborate dining hall...and last night I was at my mom's soon-to-be-ex-apartment and my sister fixed seafood-broccoli-mushroom fettucine that was to die for. I don't usually worry about my weight, but I can see how pooched out my belly is right now, and that doesn't make me happy! Other than that, I had a wonderful long weekend...and I'm taking Thursday off to do more family stuff. If all goes well, Sis and company will be bringing up a load of furniture and wall stuff from Mom's...probably patio furniture to start with. The living room set will come later, when Mom actually moves. It really helps to have a sister who is an architect and is experienced with floor plans -- she measured the entire apartment while she was here on Monday, and she's drawing up a layout for the living room, and she rearranged my bedroom so I have a cozy little reading corner. My living space is about to become even more superb than it already was. :D
Yeah, catchy title for this post, eh? I'm not feeling particularly creative or witty at the moment, sorry.
Anyway, the news du jour is that my work computer got infected with a hellacious virus. It was acting up a little bit last Friday in that a couple of things weren't working properly. At that point the IT folks were able to find some malware and remove it. But today? Without warning I started getting several different kinds of fake antivirus pop-ups -- my desktop even changed colors and had huge screaming text on it telling me that my computer was infected and I needed to download this state of the art program to fix it. Never mind that the small print underneath that text was full of misspellings, LOL. And never mind that it had obviously already installed itself on my computer. I mean, DUH! Anyway, all the king's horses and all the king's computer geeks at the office couldn't get rid of the problem, so I'm currently working in a different cubicle until the IT department can bring in a new computer.
I'm incredibly embarrassed about this, even though they assured me that "it happens." I mean, I *do* try to be careful where I go on line, but apparently there's no telling what may happen when one clicks on a link...any link. I do know that Surviving Grady had a malware problem late last week...because I happened to check the site from work and they had a post about it, saying that they hoped to have the problem resolved shortly (apparently all is well now). I'm wondering if that's where the problem arose...
So where does gratitude figure into all of this? Well, I think that my home computer has better protection than what they give us at work. I've had it for two years and have yet to have any issues. Knock on wood.
Here at approximately 2200 feet elevation, Asheville's low temperature this morning was a balmy 5 degrees, the coldest reading in FIVE YEARS. I'm really not used to this stuff anymore. Apparently tonight will be more of the same. Oh joy. The good news is that the temps will moderate after that.
Speaking of elevation, my new default icon, snagged from a picture in the local paper, is of the view from Mount Mitchell, which is not far from me and is the highest peak in the Eastern US, which is not to say that there aren't plenty of similar views all over the North Carolina mountains on clear days. I have a habit of counting ridgelines whenever I see a good mountain vista. I see 8 in this picture, but in the original (uncropped) picture there are 12 by my count. If anyone is interested I'll be glad to link the picture, providing I can still find it on the website.
For my f-list: Plenty of rumbling and resentment going on around the office about the details of the meeting last night, which were incomplete when I posted them. I'll share more when I get a chance.
Finally, a very happy birthday to my beloved Jose Alberto Pujols Alcantara, who turns 29 today. Smooches to the big guy!
Back to work. More later. Hope everyone is having a fabulous day.
ETA: Pad thai makes the world go 'round. Yes it does.
I'm mighty glad it's almost Friday. It's been a strenuous week and I'm very ready for a couple of days away from the office. Today, like the rest of the week, was very much up and down. I haven't had time to post in depth about the struggles within my immediate work group; the reasons for those struggles are a long story that I'll post another time. For now, the scoop is that today the stony silence continued between me and the woman whose desk (sans cube) is across from my cube. Last Thursday we chatted briefly when we sat at the same table during an appreciation lunch for the nursing staff, and I thought perhaps things were going to thaw, but I thought too soon. By Friday she had blown up at me over nothing, and now we're back to not speaking to each other at all. I can't wait until she retires, which will happen later this year. On the bright side, by early this afternoon things had improved with the woman in the cube next to mine, who had totally pissed me off the other day when she released a host of venom in my direction that she apparently had been saving up for a long time. Not that we're going to be chummy anytime soon, mind you, but I think maybe the worst is over there.
The big retirement bash for our senior faculty member was around cocktail hour. I normally am still working at that time of day, and as "retirement roast and toast" events have ALWAYS been considered work time, I had assumed that this would still be the case, Unfortunately, I hadn't stopped to consider that I now work for The Boss From Hell, or perhaps I should call her The Queen of Mean, as in Leona Helmsley, because that's exactly who she reminds me of. In an effort to cover my butt just in case, I e-mailed her to make sure I could count Susan's retirement party towards my hours for today. Nope, that's not work time. I don't think she considers anything work that doesn't involve tedium and job-scaredness. I wonder what she would think of the several hours I spent in uproarious laughter as I joined the "upstairs crew" from down the hall in rewriting five, count 'em, FIVE songs to perform as a parody medley at Susan's big bash? Anyway...as a result of choosing to enjoy the event, I will be working late tomorrow. When I told my pals in the "upstairs crew" they were appalled. Only The Queen of Mean would demand that an official organizational event be off clock just because I'm not actively working at my computer.
At least the party was fabulous. Great food...catered by one of the best in the area. Salmon and herbed cream cheese sandwiches on artisan bread, other similar sandwiches, sumptuous and exotic fruit bowls, brie and crackers, and so on and so forth. A bunch of ex-faculty and ex-employees were there; it was great to see them. Several honchos from the organization spoke and then there followed presentations by the faculty, our "upstairs crew," and Susan's group (basically, the psychology staff). Then Susan herself got up there and gave a lovely speech, followed by her singing (very badly) a medley of Patsy Cline songs, accompanied by a friend of hers from the medical school with which we are affiliated, and at the end her 92-year-old father got up there and sang with her. He neither looks nor acts like he's 92. What a strong voice! After this there was general hobnobbing for awhile, and then I came home.
The evening was basically fine EXCEPT that (long story short) I got a notification from my health insurance company that they're disabling my flexible benefits spending card (will explain another time, it's something I use to pay for prescriptions) because a transaction "wasn't valid." When I looked through my receipts, it turns out that my pharmacy screwed up, or at least their system didn't void a transaction that they rang up on that card by mistake, and now my health insurance company thinks that I tried to scam them by paying for something non-allowable with that card. I called the pharmacy HQ customer service line and told them what happened (my local pharmacy was closed by then), and a higher up is supposed to get back to me. I need to call the insurance company tomorrow to tell them what the problem is and see what I need to do to get my card reinstated. Bah.
I'm so tired that I'm seeing double, and really that's all that happened today other than browsing a bit on line after I got home. Looking forward to baseball tomorrow night. I hope our guys can get it together! Off to bed I go...