Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's all live in your imaginary life

I've been up since 6 a.m. and am having a very productive morning.  I know.  Weird.  Well, it gets to the point where a girl can't help but look around and think, I guess I have to face this mess eventually, so what the heck.

Um, which explains why I'm writing instead of, say, cleaning the kitchen, right?

Yesterday I came home from work feeling like a failure.  A tired, cranky failure.  It had been such a busy day, and I had done so much, and yet, all I could think about was how I failed.

Let's see here... how to explain?

Once upon a time, like on Friday afternoon, the editor came up to my desk and was all like, there's this roof garden and I want you to call and do a story on it for the Home and Garden tab.  And by the way, I think it's due Tuesday.  I was all like, huh, okay, how hard can it be?

So I call, but the lady I'm talking to is on a cell and it's hard for me to hear.  (My mother was right--I should not have blasted New Kids on the Block on my walkman when I was in high school because it did affect my hearing.  Who'd have thought?)  Plus she's really excited about this project and wants me to see it.  The thing about writing these stories is that I'm technically a receptionist.  I can't actually leave my post to conduct interviews in rooftop gardens, no matter how cool that would be.

I go back to the editor, and explain the situation.  He's all, when do you come in on Monday?  And I'm like, 10 a.m., but I can't leave--it's a deadline day.  And he's like, well, can you meet before that?  And I'm like, um... I guess so.  And he's all, by the way, the article is due Monday.  And I'm going on vacation next week.

Well, who needs direction anyway?

So I meet at the rooftop garden at 9 a.m. Monday morning after playing phone tag all weekend, except it's the NEW building, not the old.  Of course I went to the old building because that's what came up when I Googled the thing, so I had to call to find out where the new building was, since that's where everyone was waiting for me.  This was not humiliating AT ALL.

I'd brought my jacket just in case it was chilly.  It was almost 80 degrees by nine o'clock.  I should have brought a tank top.

The garden?  Was amazing.  It's this cool system of interlocking modules.  Some are shallow for ground cover, some are deep for trees.  There are even garden plots, for crying out loud, and those tomatoes were looking pretty tasty.

So now I have all the info I need--way more than I need--but I'm totally late for work.  I breeze into the office a full 20 minutes late, and it's obvious it's been a hell of a morning and everyone is swamped.  I didn't even have my computer booted and I was on the phone helping the public.

It was one of those mornings where you're so busy there isn't even time to pee, but you really don't have time to dwell on that fact.

I took several garage sale ads, took a couple of credit card payments, started in on the sheriff's log, helped the public find tear sheets, helped the ad staff find tear sheets, ran faxes to the back, ran some copies, did a little "I don't have to pee that badly just kidding I totally do" dance.

And then it was lunch.

Well, the afternoon was bound to be quieter, right?  So there'd be plenty of time to crank that article out.

After lunch, I ran back more faxes, ran more copies, took more ads even though the deadline had passed (that's always fun to explain why Mondays at noon are sacred when it's 3 p.m. and someone is pleading with you), took more credit card payments, proofed the classifieds, ran a tear sheet to the planning department, and then tried to settle down and write.

I told you I'm optimistic about all the wrong things.

So at 4:30, it's completely obvious that I have failed to meet my deadline.  I've been writing in fits and starts, and all of it pretty much sucks, although first drafts are supposed to so, you know, whatever.  The editor I'm sending this to is from a sister paper, and she's not known for her understanding nature.  I pop her out an email, and I'm trying to figure out how to describe my situation without sounding like a whining whiner who whines.  Then I email myself everything I've managed to do so far, throw my notes in my bag, and head out the door.  Ten minutes late, because the landscaper on the project called at 4:53 to go over a few things she'd thought of after the fact.

I thought maybe I'd work on it after dinner, but I was just too wiped.  I played on my poser iPad, I took a walk, I had a nice conversation with my brother Tim.  And then I went to bed.

Is it pathetic that a 40 year old woman is afraid to go into work today and check her email and see that she's in trouble?  Because I am SO in trouble.

On the bright side!  Um... it's going to be another nice day, I have cherry tomatoes and eggplant and zucchini just waiting to be simmered together, I'm going to treat myself by going to my favorite farm stand later this morning when it opens, and Johanna has discovered a 1980s Mario Bros cartoon show that is the epitome of awesome.  One of these statements is sarcastic.  Todays' game: Figure out which one.

Chevelle, I Get It.  Sarcasm is fun.  I love you, Chevelle.

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