thoughts from the hurricane

one of the things i enjoy in both my blog and my poetry is creating the title. it’s sometimes the most creative part of the process, and i love finding the allusion, the verbal snapshot, the evocative phrase or lyric that really captures the rest of the piece.

this is not one of those titles.

today, i can’t be much more than straight descriptive with a dash of pwedictaboo and a smattering of cliche. it’s been a long day, and tomorrow will only be longer. on the one hand, this is what i do. i like deadlines, and i can feel my brain clicking into high gear as i survey the wilderness of reminders and to-dos that festoon my desk with post-its and my white board with three colors of ink.

that is, IF i am allowed to do my job.

my morning began at 9:00 AM, when i walked through the door, laden with my pocketbook and totebag. allen (my boss) and pam (assistant boss) were talking in the hallway. “good morning,” i said, heading down the hall to my office.

i heard footsteps. surreptitiously, i glanced back. pam and allen were following me. “well,” i thought as i unlocked my door, “they must need to talk to john (mucketymuck) or thomas (higher mucketymuck).”

i set my bags in the spare chair, dropped my keys in the pocketbook, and turned around. and nearly ran smack into pam, who was now standing between me and my computer chair.


is a wonderful woman, with many talents and good qualities. one of these is that she is a teacher who is accustomed to lecture halls. and when pam is stressed, pam projects. i’m pretty sure she has the lung power to announce a football game sans microphone or sing opera.

my office is about 9×10 feet. it’s like standing. in. a. speaker.

pause for a moment, and rewind to 8:30 AM, when I went in the garage, cranked the car, turned it off, went back in the house, got my cell phone, went back out, re-cranked the car, turned up Salt and Dimitri the Greek, and got on the road.

no, rewind even further, to 7:45 AM, when i woke up calculating how to most efficiently create badges for three disparate groups out of a single database. the mental checklist was clicking along as i drove, equal parts van halen (all i neeeeed is a beautiful giiiiiirl) and inventory – packet inserts – what’s due when – who do i need to call – must remember – what am i leaving out.

i live for that stuff.

until i’m trapped in my speakerbox, on the wrong side of my desk chair, LOOKING AT THE MESSAGE BLINKING ON MY PHONE, can’t get to my computer and i KNOW I HAVE EMAIL and GOD WOMAN SHUT UP ALREADY. i haven’t had caffeine of any kind, i haven’t even sat down, for chrissakes, and she’s freaking out about god even knows what, i can’t remember now, because it wasn’t important.

oh yeah, it was name badges.

she apparently awoke in a cold sweat, fearing that when she gave andjie her crappy 2006 badge as a design suggestion, i would interpret that as “hey, do it exactly thus-wise.” a thought which, incidentally, had never entered my head. i told her as much.

and yet she kept talking.

i had to ask her to move so that i could log into my computer. i got about halfway through a two-line email, and she was back. some other crisis, some other freak-out, some other decibel damage to my eardrums.

remember that whole gears thing from a few paragraphs back? yeah, kiss that goodbye. i felt like i was standing in a newspaper office in the aftermath of a hurricane, watching shreds of good ideas drift down around me. i literally couldn’t remember my name. it took me till lunchtime to get back to where i’d been at 8:30 AM.

but after lunch

mel and i were a couple of finely-tuned symposium-planning machines.



  1. freundlyfolk said,

    April 22, 2008 at 9:40 am

    if you were to get this job full-time…
    does that mean you’re gonna be something like pam’s turn-to girl, the person upon whom she can project (from the diaphragm) all of her 3 a.m. paranoias?

    just sayin…

    in the meantime, GOOOO TEAM GINNYMEL!! 😀

  2. perhapsody said,

    April 22, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    she’s actually leaving effective may 2, for a new job at meredith. hehe otherwise…maybe? @.@


  3. krishyana said,

    April 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    hehe pam means well, she just doesn’t know her own lung power hehe 🙂

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