This week has been exceptionally stressful.
My work has been ramping up as we head into the busy season. Strangely enough it turns out that more people in Wisconsin install furnaces and insulation during the winter. I wonder if there is a white, powdery reason for that… hmmm…
My sector of the program, the sector that processes the income eligibility applications, has been short staffed since before I started. In the summer it was fine. We limped along. It was fine. Now, in the fall, it became very clear that it is not fine, and we desperately need a third person in order to keep up. We hired a third person, and she was perfect.
An accounting major at Drake!
I couldn’t imagine someone more perfect. With her on staff I could finally have someone who could answer my outlandish financial based questions. For example, “Do trusts earn interest?” “Is this what a stock earnings statement looks like?” “Do people still have to file taxes if their only income was business losses?“ I have so many oddball financial questions like this, and no one can ever answer them. I usually just guess and pray for the best. Then, like a magically fairy, she fluttered into our lives with all of her vast accounting knowledge.
And just like a magical fairy, she’s nonexistent.
That’s right folk, the numbers whiz, who was going to save me from the current swirling chaos that is my work life, rescinded the offer before her first day. I never even met her.
So we are back to the drawing board. That means more interviews. More people who cannot handle the demands of this job. And more opportunities to be disappointed by candidates who don’t pull through.
Alas, amongst all this stress and madness, I had a glimmer of hope Friday morning. It was on my way into work that I noticed how lovely the rose bush in the parking lot looked in the early hours.
(Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, so we’re back to cell phone pics again for this post. Sincerest apologizes to those of you who were looking forward to seeing my advanced photography skills after my last post. I promise there will be more super awesome photos soon. *winks obnoxiously large*)
I try to park my car next to this rose bush every morning, because it is always so lovely. I try to use it as a reminder, every day before work and every day after work, to appreciate the little things of beauty that happen throughout the day. In an understaffed, painfully bureaucratic office position, such as mine, it can be easy to get to a point where you hate the monotonous work that you do and the impatient, unappreciative public that you serve.
These flowers remind me that the most important part of my day is not when a customer calls upset that we haven’t process their application yet, when we’ve been calling them for over a month to give us the missing information the we need. The most important part of my day is not when a contractor gets snippy and rude with me because I asked for confirmation of an installation date, when the date is ‘clearly on the application.’ (It was on the application three different ways btw. We needed to know which one was the correct date. The contractor still hung up on me.) The most important part of my day is not when a customer claims that I denied her application because I am a republican. (The dirtiest insult I’ve ever received btw.)
The most important part of my day is when my supervisor surprises me with my favorite bagel from Panera. (Cinnamon Crunch fyi)
The most important part of my day is when I get to chat with Blair about video games and linguistics at lunch.
The most important part of my day is when my fiance, Jake sends me a picture of our cat on top of the fridge.
These are the most important moments of the day, and it can be so easy to forget that when my day at work really, really sucks. When people treat me like garbage and the work piles up like mountains around me, and I feel like I’m suffocating under the weight of all the applications and all the deadlines.
If I try to remember what’s important, and I appreciate the little flakes of joy that are sprinkled throughout my day amongst the unpleasant, the stressful, and the boring, then I can get through the day with a smile. On Friday my coworker even accused me of being downright ‘giggly.’ (A bit hyperbolic in my opinion, but it captures my point.)
I wrote this post for all of you today, as a reminder to be thankful the little shreds of good throughout the day. I know September can be a stressful month for everyone, what with school starting up again, applying for college or graduate school, and many workplaces increasing the workload before the end of the year.
So remember, for next week, and the week after that, and the month after that, and the year after that, to look for and appreciate beauty when you can find it.
Go out there. Kick butt. And try not to let rude people get you down.
Do your job the best you can. And most importantly, take care of yourself out there.