It was a good day at Fortress Jeff. It was a scheduled Telework Wednesday. I’d made eggs and toast for breakfast. My laptop was sitting patiently booting up in the sun room in preparation for the day. All the critters had been fed and I thought they were all accounted for… except, of course, they weren’t.
Somewhere between slathering butter on my toast and setting the dirty dishes in the sink, Jorah snuck off and a ranging loop through the house. It’s become a common enough sight now that he’s a more or less trusted agent.
That’s the point where the morning started its trip off the rails.
Unbeknownst to me, Jorah made a stop in the sunroom and took the opportunity to bite my work laptop’s power cord almost directly in half… a situation I didn’t stumble upon until I walked into the room with my coffee and more or less prepared to started the day.
Dogs chew. It’s a natural fact. The issue here is that for the 7+ months he’s been here, Jorah was remarkable good at leaving everything alone that wasn’t one of his toys. He didn’t chew chair legs, or moulding, or shoes. He never showed so much as a moment’s interst in any of the exposed cables that are strung everywhere around the house. He ignored them completely, right up to the point today where he didn’t.
So instead of starting off Telework Wednesday with a nice easy read through the overnight email and a bit of mouth scalding coffee, I took off my fuzzy slippers, put on a semi-clean pair of jeans, and then made the round trip drive to the office to pick up a spare power cord that I had stashed in my desk.
So this week my day working from home started off with the same old drive to the office… only slightly later in the morning so I was able to enjoy even more traffic than usual. If you think I’m not going to find half a dozen castoff Dell power cables to create my own strategic reserve against future incidents of cable gnawing, well, it’s like you don’t know me at all.
Blame August, blame the thunderstorms racing through the area, blame spending a day gone blind on PowerPoint, or blame aborted dental work. Blame whatever you want because all of it is probably responsible at some point. Something, or a combination of something’s, has managed to steal any motivation I had tonight.
Seriously, I don’t even have any of my usual and customary notes jotted through the day to fall back back on tonight, so it’s not even a case of fake it til you make it.
All I really seem to have the motivation to do is sink into the second most comfortable seat in the house, put on some junk television as background noise, and lose the rest of the day to a good book.
A few hours after closing the books on this abbreviated work week, the very last thing I want to do is sit back down at the keyboard and try to come up with something sensical to talk about.
I’ve long been of the opinion that the best reports are the ones that don’t inflate the value of the information being imparted. They’re factual and to the point.
In that spirit, I’m please to tell you that on this particular Wednesday in July I expect a successful extended weekend with no limiting factors and have nothing significant to report.
Today I was sitting at my desk around 9AM lamenting that it was only Wednesday and there were still hours to go in the first half of the week.
After a moment’s pause, I realized a few important things:
1) There is a three day weekend incoming;
2) I still have 40 hours of use or lose annual leave on the books;
3) I just got my 40-hour performance award (because I’ll take time off instead of cash money every time); and
4) Starting on January 13th, I’ll be earning 8 hours of annual leave a pay period in recognition of the fact that I’ve managed to not get fired or dropped dead since signing on with Uncle fifteen years ago.
After completing the required paperwork – because truly nothing moves in the bureaucracy without the required paperwork – I’ve effectively created a time machine by which I can skip one of the annoying days in the middle of the week and head directly into the weekend starting at close of business tomorrow.
That’s made Wednesday far more tolerable on just about every level.
Standing in the pre-dawn darkness, the first words I muttered after rolling out of bed this morning were, “Oh Christ on a crutch… it’s only Wednesday.”
That should have given me every indication of the kind of day it was going to be. But no, I opted not to listen to that small nagging voice that had already tried to warn me off. I press on with the morning routine – shower, coffee, feeding the menagerie, and trundling off to the office. I even had the audacity to enjoy the drive in, the humid air feeling brisk and refreshing once you got above a certain speed.
The wheels didn’t really come fully off the day until I’d already been at my desk for 45 minutes. I won’t get into specifics, but be assured it was all sideways and down hill from there. It was a day wholly given over to the anti-Midas touch – a skill that appears unbidden in my quiver from time to time and enables everything I touch to turn directly to shit.
Tomorrow has got to be better if just because there are only a few ways in which it could be worse. Steer into the slide. Regain control. Navigate away from danger. That’s the plan. Either that or sitting at my desk sobbing quietly. Really, either one feels like a possibility.
The niceties of Veteran’s Day aside, it’s placement this year smack in the middle of the week is just bloody inconvenient. Just as I found myself getting settled in for the evening I remembered that this isn’t the weekend and there are still two more days to slog through between us and Saturday. That’s hardly the end of the world, but it still doesn’t do much to improve my opinion of these “floating” holidays that are tied to a date instead of attached in lockstep to a weekend.
Now, please don’t take that as any criticism of the holiday itself. Anyone who knows me will tell you that my absolute favorite kind of time is time off and that I’ll take it wherever I can find it. If I had a little more leave in the bank this year, I would have proactively resolved the issue on my own. Alas, the home buying and repair have eaten up way more vacation time than I would have spent in any normal year.
Today was an anomaly, an irregularity, a one day only special. I’ll take it. Gladly. But don’t for a minute think that’ll keep me from bitching about it.
Since this is the first of 10 more furlough weeks to come, it should be noted that for purposes of record keeping I’ll be dividing the week as follows:
– Monday and Tuesday will be held as scheduled.
– Thursday replaces Wednesday and is immediately followed, as usual, by Friday, which will take over Thursday’s old time slot.
– Saturday Part I is allocated the space formerly occupied by Friday.
– Saturday Part II is takes the place of the traditional observance of Saturday.
– Sunday remains in its historic place as the day that keeps Saturday (Part II) and Monday from crashing together.
Please note that until further notice, Wednesday will no longer being observed by jeffreytharp.com. While posts will continue to appear as normal, official business will only be transacted on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday as outlined above. Saturday (Part I and II) and Sunday are considered non-working days and will be subject to lying about on the couch watching trashy daytime television, surfing the internet, perfecting a diabetic-friendly rum punch recipe, arguing with the evening news, and otherwise being an unproductive member of society.
We regret that Uncle Sam has made this drastic step necessary and hope that Wednesdays will be restored to service as soon as funding levels allow.