I should have known what kind of day it was going to be when I woke up 20 minutes before the 5AM alarm – too early to be awake, even by my standards, but not nearly enough time to make going back to sleep a worthwhile endeavor. I should have known then that it was a sign to pick up the phone, make a call, and burn off a sick day. But instead I pressed on with the morning routine.
The day fired one last warning shot across my bow when I got to the office and was met with a message that someone had sent me what they thought was a very important email and they needed to talk to me about its contents immediately (or when they got in at 8:30, whichever came first). Of course the problem there was they might have sent the email, but as we all know communication only happens when information is transferred between the sender and the receiver. Whatever it was their very important email said, it had been lost in transition from their mailbox to mine. As a rule I try not to comment on documents I haven’t had a chance to read, so the 8:30 phone call was, shall we say, a bit brief. I really, really should have pulled the plug at that point and called it a day.
Instead, in the middle of trying to prepare for a meeting (with the person whose email finally showed up around 9:00), I was then shanghaied into seat filler duty for 75 minutes. That led into a 30 minute pause before the next hour long meeting, which led to 20 minutes of frantic post-meeting emailing, which begat the next 75 minute long meeting. By now it’s 2:30 and that’s when I finally sat down to shove a sandwich and a few handfuls of crackers into my face today. That may be perfectly reasonable for some people, but tends to be a little late when your official day started at 7:30 and you’re legally obligated to leave the premises at 4:00.
I at least got to leave on time this afternoon. As I understand it “on time” was just a few minutes ahead of the last violent shitstorm of the day. I missed getting covered in that one by the skin of my teeth. Unfortunately, now I know what’s sitting there waiting for me when I wander in tomorrow. I was definitely a happier human being before I knew what to expect, but I’ve been at this game long enough that I should have known better than to have any expectations at all.
Expectations. That’s where the day really started skidding off the rails. Yeah, I really should have known better.