See, I took off Monday and Tuesday, kind of not entirely with permission. I mean, I told everyone, I sent in the forms, but they were never approved. My boss takes a Very Dim View of sudden absences, so I was kind of, oh, dreading going in. So I go up to my computer and first off, they rearrangd my desk area again and moved my filing cabinet, which is yet another reason I really, really hate missing work. But okay, I got past that. Okay, I ignored that for the time being. And it was because I got a new printer, too. And yes, I didn't have a single pen, so I need to find a new place to hide them. People who had checked my day calendar said happy belated birthday, but I wasn't exactly advertising it, since, well, no.
Anyway, the Program Manager (supervisor of supervisors, Really Big Cheese person, scary as hell, remember me fearing her a few entries back?) whisks in to ask one of the other clerks to hold down the front desk because she needed to talk to me.
So I looked quietly at my sad little desk and wondered if I'd be allowed back in to say goodbye, grab the paper towel I'd been blowing my nose with (patheticness is always a plus), and followed her to one of the other supervisor's offices. Who was out. I sat down across the desk and tried to look mature, twenty-eight, and reasonably sane.
"So, Jennifer, how are you doing?"
I have yet to break anyone to calling me Jenn. Child calls me Jenn. Everyone else, not so much.
I answered in the okay, waiting for the axe to fall. I keep in mind that since her capable hands have taken the reins, two people have been fired, two have resigned. Not that I think she's entirely responsbile for any of this or their actions, but--not comforting.
"I want to talk to you about the coming weeks."
That sounded vaguely encouraging. She seemed to be implying I'd be around to see them.
Then the speech started, and such phrases as "excellent reputation" and "good job" were tossed about, and for a while there, I wondered who she was talking about. It connected suddenly--ah yes. She means *me*.
And you know, the fact that there are two clerks leaving the front desk and that leaves me as pretty much the oldest and most experienced person up there. I could have lived without 'oldest' but experienced sounded very much like a not-firing word to me. Anyway, being kind of shocky, I told her I'd put off my leave until late March because of the new clerks coming in and our understaffedness and she was all *bizarrely* praising how I thought of others in my leave-taking, and how I was thinking about the office, but I mean, you read the part about my desk, right? God knows what would happen if I took off without adequate preparation beforehand. I might come back without a desk or something. There were words about helping out and doing things and I swear leadership came up, but I could be imagining that.
It was surreal. I mean--I don't know what I mean. But the radiation of approval and so forth completely froze me. I don't know how to deal with approval. I know how to deal with rejection and dismissal and I'm really great when I'm cornered and I'm excellent at pleading my case, bootstrap girl all the way. I'm kind of used to not meeting other people's expectations. But sitting there, being told how *good* I was doing and how much the effort was worth....
She encouraged me to take a nice, long weekend sometime in February. What? You mean--take a day off? Like, for fun? *blinks* She said I must have a lot of overtime building up. Well, hell yeah, so I do. She praised my efforts, encouraged further growth. My supervisor later called me in to ask me what training I wanted to go to for MS Office, since apparently, all of this is Very Important.
I'd like to say I came out inspired, and that's there, but mostly I was punchy. I got my file cabinet dragged back into a close to normal position, since it was *freaking me out* that it was far away against the wall and not in spinnable range fo my chair. Having a printer at my elbow rocks so much it hurts but I notice I'm going to lose a lot of exericse I used to get leaping up to run to the printer every few minutes. Oh well, there's still the xerox machine. Got pens and hid them. Am currently planning what stuff I shall confiscate when the other clerks leave. I'm eyeing their staples, which are freaking diamonds these days. All these people were nice and God, I have no idea how to deal.
There's a very slight, slight, slight chance that people like me, and man, is this just begging for a way to torpedo. If there is one thing I do well, it's torpedoing good feelings about me.
And yes, I have an *entire chocolate cake* that I still have to eat. This day is disturbingly good. Just disturbingly so.