Monday, December 12, 2016


     In my last two shifts at work, I have:

  • plunged the employee men's room toilet. We have one man and one men's toilet. He wanted me to call in maintenance, but I knew that could take 24 hours.  And since the last time this happened, he used the women's toilet and promptly plugged that one, I figured I was really helping myself.
  • knelt beside a 75 year old woman and offered my condolences on the loss of her 50 year old son. I told her she had done a wonderful job as a mother, that he was a good man, a joy to help. We cried together.
  • had to explain to several theoretical grown-ups that they shouldn't give their debit card numbers out over the phone to people they didn't know and why that was a problem.
  • had to explain to another theoretical grown-up that just because they had a lot of money that didn't mean they would get to be seen in front of people who were already waiting.
  • had an extremely challenging client lose her shit with me over the phone about a mistake that only she could have made in her online banking, but she swears somebody "there" did this to me.  And what will make it all better, pray tell? A letter of apology.  And what did I write? A letter of apology.
  • had multiple clients of various ages, orientations, races and of both sexes tell me they were concerned for our country and worried for their future/children/grandchildren.
  • been asked if I wanted to be adopted, by an older woman.
  • been asked if I was married, by an older woman.
  • had a man scoff when one of my associates assured him in front of me that I was really the manager.
  • received several nice compliments that I will not elaborate on lest I lose my humility.
  • and all the other mundane stuff that I'm supposed to do at work, coupled with the stresses of short staffing, aggressive goals and little to no time off.

     My mother used to get migraines well into her 40's.  Horrible, evil migraines where her vision would go black on the edges to a pinprick of sight. She would go into her room, turn off the lights, lay there and beg us to be quiet.  Due to her heart condition, she had long before eliminated caffeine as that exacerbated her atrial fibrillation, so there was no respite there.  She figured out over time that certain foods triggered the migraines and made them much worse.  She never could afford to see a doctor about it, so she just lived with them until they thankfully started to diminish in her 50's, probably aided by hormonal changes, as well.
     I feel like I've had a low level headache for the past decade, and over the last 2 years they've gotten more profound.  I think it's in part due to the bouncing back and forth emotionally between the extremes.  Sadness one minute, angst the next, outrage, worry, joy all jumbling together and fraying the edges of the enclosure in my brain that keep the headaches in check, until boom ... I'm driving to Dunkin Donuts at 8pm to get a large coffee and a little fresh air.  I'm sure there are other better ways to deal - more Tylenol, even more water, sex, meditation, massage - but I went for the quick fix again.  I think the preponderance of headaches are a modern day dilemma, made worse by a couple centuries of industrialized society, pollution and associated life stresses.  I'm sure that the Vikings got headaches. They either drank them away, basked in the slaughter of their enemies to reduce stress or died.  That was it.  Do you know what one of the most popular headache relief choices was 2500 years ago - coming back into fashion in the 1600's - trepanning.  Don't know what that is?  Look it up.  I guarantee you've thought about it without even knowing the word for it the last time you had a really bad headache.  Next time, I'm going to spend more time considering the whole bathing in the blood of my enemies thing.          

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