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Browsing gripes



I travel a lot.  I spend four days a week in another town because I’m working with a team supporting an EMR implementation at a new hospital.

I have a pattern, a rhythm going.  I stay at the same hotel every week.  I leave a “crate” (a plastic tub/box) at the hotel when I’m in Indy so I don’t have to drag so much back and forth.  And what I do drag back and forth is pretty much always the same stuff, except I switch out the clothes.

So why is it that THIS week, I’ve forgotten so many things?  I’ve become accustomed to living a certain way, having certain things while I’m away – and I’ve left a large number of them at home!  There’s a running list, but in just one day, here’s what I’ve discovered I’ve left:

  • My food (this is an extended stay hotel with a full kitchen, so I bring food from home)
  • My cell phone and bluetooth earpiece chargers
  • My Zune charger
  • My sweatshirt (doesn’t sound like it, but this is a big deal – it’s freezing cold here and you don’t want to wear a business suit jacket to the free breakfast, while lounging around, or while chillin’ with the girls.  worse, you don’t want to wear it to a smoky bowling alley, which is where we’re going tomorrow night.)
  • The movie I was going to watch and then mail in (so I could have the next one on the queue this weekend in time for next week)
  • The DVD TV series I’ve been watching.  (Yes, I have cable here, but I work from noon to ten.  The only thing on TV after ten is animals and sex.  Also, in the TV series, it was season finale time, so I’m dying to know what happens next!)
  • My facewash (hotel soap doesn’t remove the makeup well at all, and leaves a nasty feeling behind)

And the straw that broke the camel’s back, the thing that’s making me want to pull my hair out: my freaking toothbrush and toothpaste!

Yes, I can replace these and live without most of the rest (I have to buy food and facewash, too, now) – but I just cannot express how annoyed and grouchy I am about this week.  Not a good way to start a week, and I have three long days ahead.  And I have to start this one by showering, dressing, then going to work early so I can buy at toothbrush and toothpaste – and brush AT work.  Yuck.

How’s your day starting out?

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I’m pretty close to mentally retarded in the mornings.  Ask my husband – he’s got stories galore of nonsensical conversations, pushing/pulling/rolling me out of bed, me stumbling around blindly and doing all sorts of random things.  Until I’ve had a shower, I’m not even coherent.  Until I’ve had coffee (even after the shower), I’m cute, but extremely low-functioning.

Case in point:

Because I’m mentally deficient in the morning, and because I had to get up before the sun today to get up to our new hospital (north on I65, toward Chicago from Indy), I drove south (toward Kentucky).

Understand just how dumb this is.  Not only are there many, many signs for 65 in downtown Indy where I live/get on the interstate…  but I drive on 65 every day to and from work.  I’ve lived just off of 65 for 4 years.  I know 65.

Apparently, though, not when I’m morning-moronic.

It took me 10 minutes of driving south to realize I was headed the wrong way.  By the
time I’d gotten off 65S and found my way back to 65N (because I’m also navigationally challenged in the mornings), I’d lost too much
time to make my meeting.  So I got up before dawn for nothing, and have
to do it all over tomorrow.

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…seems like every time it rains, I leave my car’s sunroof wide open.

The last time it happened, the car was thoroughly soaked (inches of water in the cupholders). This time, just water on (and not in) everything.

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So, I got up early today (a good hour and a half earlier than is my habit) so that I could get in some morning OT instead of having to work late in the afternoon.  I got ready quickly, and with the exception of having to go back into the house 3 times for things I forgot (of course, having to reset the alarm each time), I was making record time.

I didn’t have to wait for any lights, and I missed having to wait for a train by seconds.  So, I’m driving past the tracks, watching the train go through in my rearview mirror and feeling pretty good about my morning.  Then I had to brake.  And stay.  Because of traffic.

I know that traffic happens in other areas of the city.  I know that other people spend hours every day waiting in traffic.  But not me!  I live downtown where I work, so I have a smooth, 10-minute highway commute.  Usually.

I have patience for folks who slow down to look at accidents that have just happened. I have to admit, it’s hard to ignore flashing lights, banged up cars, and crowds of people on the side of the road.  But I have NO patience (I keep typing “patients” – can you tell I work at a hospital?) for those people – and it seemed like every person on the highway today was one of “those” people – who rubberneck at nothing.

Apparently there was an accident early this morning.  By the time I started my commute, though, there was nothing there.  Just two cars on a pullout by the shoulder.  Not in the way.  Not really damaged.  Just two parked cars.  But EVERY SINGLE CAR had to inch by and check it out.  Ugh.  So much for my early morning.  I should have just slept in the extra 45 minutes.

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I was a witness to a high school student’s sociology experiment.  I’m sure I was.  Because, even nowadays (listen to me, sounding like an old-timer!) kids know better than to answer six – yes, SIX – calls during a movie in a theater.  And because no matter WHAT kind of a freaky relationship she was in, no high school girlfriend would sit idly by while her date/boyfriend answered SIX cell calls during a movie without at least poking him or giving him a look.  I know it was a soc project.  When I was in soc class, we had to break a social norm and write about peoples’ reactions.  That’s what this kid was doing, right?

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I’ve become something of a tea snob.  I really hate tea from bags with powder (vs loose leaf).  It makes me gag.  There’s a funky aftertaste, and a strong flavor of… máte!  Maybe that’s why I don’t like it.  The flavor of steamed dirt somehow doesn’t appeal to me.

L, I know I’ve been conspicuously absent.  I’ll get on that tonight.  After I finish gagging over my disgusting green tea.

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So, this morning I’m getting ready to leave for work. I’ve spent a significant amount of time doing my hair up in a cute way.  I NEVER do my hair up in a cute way. I put on a fuzzy girly purple sweater.  I rarely wear girly clothes.  I’ve just turned on the house alarm and left the house.  I’m not wearing a coat or gloves.  It’s cold.

I lock the first lock on the back door, and put my keys into the second lock.  My hands are cold, so I fumble the keys.  They fall – but not onto the deck.  They fall 3 1/2 feet down into the 4″ wide gap between the deck and the back door.

I’m locked out of the house and I can’t get into the garage.  I’m trapped in my own backyard.

I proceed to spend about a half hour getting the keys out from under the deck.  I start by standing there with my mouth gaping open.  I whimper a little.  I pull out my phone to call my husband – maybe he has an idea. Then again, I say to myself, he’s the brilliant one who - yesterday - put away the rake that’s been sitting on the deck for the last week.  The rake that could have saved me the forthcoming horrors.  I grumble about responsible spouses as David’s voicemail picks up. He’s in class.  I’m on my own.

Seized by a flash of inspiration, I run through the dog poop-infested yard to the compost pile where my husband and teen Zach have been throwing leaves and fallen branches.  I can’t find what I’m looking for - a branch that grew into a coat hanger before falling from the tree – but I find something that’s long enough, at least, to stick down in the gap.  I run back across the poopy yard and lay down on the deck.  It’s still cold. With my head against the dirty back door and wall of the house, I slide down the length of the deck, pushing the keys inch by inch to the edge.

Now, I have to get the keys from beneath the side of the deck.  There’s a tall lattice wall in the way, so I have to go off the deck to the 1 1/2 foot space between the lattice wall and the 6-foot privacy fence surrounding the yard.  I’m not a small girl.  Still, it won’t be so bad, I think to myself.  All I have to do is squeeze along the fence and bend sideways to grab the keys.  Then I look at the fence.  The English ivy that covers it (and is boring into our foundation) is going to make this difficult, not to mention dirty.  Then I look closer.  There are red ants completely covering the ivy.

I run back to the pile of branches and find one that’s long and not straight.  I beat off as many ants as I can, then prop the longer ivy back over the fence with the branch.  With my makeshift ivy arbor in place, I stand staring.  I cover as much exposed flesh as possible with my scarf, then I count to three and charge in and grab the keys.  I charge back out, shuddering and itching.

After brushing off and thawing in the car for 10 minutes, I arrive at work, late and disheveled.  All day I’m picking leaves and sticks from my no-longer cute hair and clothes.

The lesson I learn from my morning foray into the wild of the deck’s environs: keep a coat hanger handy in your backyard.  You never know when you’ll have to go key fishing.

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… a day.

It would be so much easier if folks would just talk to one another instead of being passive-agressive, and if they would just think about things like, oh, motives and intent before overreacting.

I am watching two friends suffer possible serious reprimand because another woman (the Diva) is overreacting on hearsay.  Granted, what they each said was offensive – I was there to hear their comments – but neither spoke out of a mean spirit, and neither had any intention of offending.  One (D) thought she was being clever (and was, in fact – it was just about a sensitive topic to the Diva, who usually takes D’s clever joking for what it is), and the other (J) thought he was congratulating the Diva on being clever.

Now they’re both anticipating negative consequences.  D doesn’t really care – her attitude has always been that you can take her or leave her (which actually is refreshing in a world where everyone cares so very much what everyone else thinks of them).  J, however, is pretty upset.

If the Diva, who heard what D and J said secondhand, had bothered talking to either of them, all the drama could have been averted.  They both would have instantly apologized for the offense and would have explained why they said the things they did.  Instead, the situation has deteriorated into a huffy (and clique-y) tantrum.


Don’t folks have anything better to think about than perceived slights?

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Our alarm company made a mistake today that cost me:

  • $125 in fines for police coming to check a false alarm.
  • $40 in lost wages for the hour I had to spend screwing around trying to figure things out.
  • my productivity this morning at work – it was a busy and stressful day already.
  • my calm and my dignity – I chewed out the dispatch officer.


I got a call from some dope at Brinks today (Kip, Zip, Pip?  Some three-letter named punk) saying that our alarm was going off, wanting to know if I wanted the cops to check it out.  I asked him which zone it was – that’s how Brinks labels the types of alarm (glass break, door open, motion sensor, etc.) – and he told me it was a zone 3 motion sensor at the front door.  I told him that we don’t have motion detection activated as part of our alarm system (it’s a $500 installation, and with a dog, worthless).  So, I asked him again what kind of alarm it was.  He told me again, “motion at the front door.”  I asked him if he meant that my front door was open, and he said, “yes.”  So I said, “Go ahead and call the police.”

He called back a minute later and said that the police requested someone – me – to be there when they arrived.  I told him it’d take me 10 minutes to get there, and he told me that the police said I was to wait outside in my car for them to show up.  “Don’t try to go into the house – you might be mistaken for an intruder,” he says.

So, I waited in my car for a half an hour.  Cops didn’t show up.  I got fed up and went in.  My dog, of course, was hysterical.  I waited for 10 more minutes and fumed.  Then, I called Brinks.  A woman answered and said again that it was a motion sensor – when I explained that we don’t have motion detection, she corrected herself and said it was a zone 11 alarm – the glass break sensor.  Which means that my stupid dog was barking and set off the alarm again.  If, when I received the first call, ZPKipDope had said the correct zone, I’d have told him to simply reset the alarm.

That was too much.  I called the dispatch office and told the woman that since the cops never showed up like they were supposed to, she could cancel the alarm and not bill me.  She informed me that the police had come and gone.  So, I lost my temper.  I told her the situation and asked what I could do about that bill – she informed me that the police had done their jobs (with an attitude) and that it wasn’t their concern.  So I yelled at her, tersely apologized to her, then hung up on her.

Today is making me crazy.  Brinks WILL be paying that bill.  If they don’t, we’re cancelling their service and going to another company who can correctly identify “zones.”

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This workplace thing is turning into a saga.  Today’s suprise du jour is a horrible, offensive rotting food smell.  I was lazy today and rode the elevator up to our office on the fourth floor, and the smell was in the elevator (but not on the first floor).  I thought, “Man, that’s nasty.  This’ll teach me not to use the stairs!”  Then, the elevator door opened on my floor.  And I gagged.

I’m mouth-breathing today, doing my best not to breathe – at all! – through my nose.   This is ridiculous.

Update:  Someone burned bacon in the microwave.  I don’t know what kind of bacon it was - because the smell o’ rot is still permeating the air.  But, mystery solved.

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