The Long Day is Over

“Feeling tired, by the fire, the long day is over… With no reprise, the sun will rise, the long day is over” Norah Jones

Tuesday started off on a bad note… especially since Monday night was so on point. First off, I have to get to work at 8am. This is a huge leap since it’s such a challenge for me to get to work at my normal start time of 8:30. I love to sleep. If allowed, I could pass the whole day in bed without qualms. But I made it to work on time.

There’s a meeting at our old office for the next two days. And since I’m on the low-end of the totem pole, I’m in charge of setting up the facilities. Well when I get there, breakfast hasn’t arrived. First error specifically since I called the day before to confirm the order and the time for all catering to take place for the meeting. I call Cosi and ask where is my breakfast? “It’s not supposed to arrive until 8:30″… No ma’am I called an instructed you to have the breakfast here by 8am, you are now 20 minutes late, get me my breakfast. “Oh the man must have forgotten to leave a note”… Again, not my problem, we have a meeting that starts in 10 minutes and I need the breakfast here now.

It doesn’t matter that this is the 5th time I’ve talked to Cosi, nor that the start of the meeting changed last-minute so I rushed to call all the caterers. Or that the typical meeting fare of sandwiches wasn’t good enough for this crowd, so I had to order from different locations… the first thing my meeting contact asks when walking through the door “Well, L, where’s breakfast? I thought it was supposed to be here at 8?”

Ma’am… get out of my face! This is your meeting not mine. I’m already cranky because I missed a whole hour of sleep to get here early and you come in the door spouting booyang! The nerve…

I calmly explain about breakfast and continue setting up the projector, the beverages, stocking the fridge, stocking the coffee machine, and everything else that doesn’t get completed by the receptionist that we have on staff to do all the afore-mentioned. Moreover, the projector stops working. I call IT… “Hey M, could you help me with the projector? it’s not working.” “Well, L, I thought J went up there yesterday and got it all squared away?” “That’s what he said M, but it’s not working” “Well then reboot it” “Where’s the power bottom, M?” “I don’t know I’m not there”

Listen here sir, I put in my request for IT help days before this meeting. I gave you all the details (time, date, location, and equipment to be used), the least you could do is your job in response. Well I finally get the projector working. (yay me). “Hey L, people will be dialing in, could you set up the phone” “Sure, C, what’s the number?” “It’s an AT&T connect.” “Ok what’s the number?” (longsuffering sigh) “Well give me a few minutes L and I’ll pull it up”. Ma’am, when did mind reader become part of my job description? You’re an Inc employee… I work for HQ, that means we have different AT&T connect dial-in numbers not to mention the individual id number that you have to enter in order to start the call… How the crap would I have that personal information? While she dilly-dallies, I finish stocking and setting up the meeting.

“Hey L, why isn’t there any coffee?” “Well we have a self-service coffee machine in the kitchen”  (time passes) “Well I don’t know how to work this machine, I guess I’ll just drink water” (blank look) “The instructions are on the front, but let me show you…”

Is this a race thing? I’m the only person of color in this department…

My (male) boss opens his laptop…”L, why isn’t my computer working? Is it broken?” I have psychokinesis too… “Well M are you connected to the network? Did you connect your (free-standing) laptop to the network extension with a blue cord?” “Cords?!? I need Cords?! I have no cords, come fix this” Well yessah massa I’ll juss ‘as mosey on down. “And my laptop is dying I need a power cord”. Sir… each laptop bag issued by IT is equiped with every instrument and tool that you will need to remotely (i.e. away from your laptop stand at your desk) connect to the company network and work uninterrupted. You have two of those said bags and only one laptop… (blink, blink).

“L, why are there no working printers here” “L, I had to leave some documents on the printer because it was “warming up” (which usually happens when it’s not in use for a week), so I need you to get them from the printer” “L, I need a working mouse” A slave by any other name would work as hard, I happen to be called L.

I was only supposed to be at that office until 8:30a, at 9:45a I walk over to the other office to start my work day. Only to have to go pick up their lunch at 11a, drop it off, and set it up…then and only then am I granted a reprieve to nourish my body. Oh wait, were you thinking that I was invited to partake in their fare that I chiefly ordered and provided? No mon cher, that would resemble politeness.

You would think Wednesday would start better… well I decided to carpool this morning. So I leave my house at 7 to drive to a co-worker’s house and get there by 7:30 and then drive into work about 7:45. I walk immediately to the old office to prepare for day 2 of the meeting. This time I’m early, only two others beat me there. At least breakfast arrived on time.

I walk into the conference room and see yesterday’s lunch on the bar. Excuse me? Too good to clean up after yourselves? I clean up, set up, and still have to stock the fridges… And where is our uselessly charming receptionist? Hasn’t arrived yet. She’s supposed to be at work at 8.

This time I had lunch delivered because they wanted pasta instead of fajitas. So I bust my butt back to the other office to set up lunch. It was much easier than Tuesday, but still time-consuming because the rest of breakfast needed disposing. This time I arrive when they break for lunch. After I finish setting up, I linger to see if they will invite me to dine or take a plate to go. “so guys, how’s the food?” [exclamations of ooh’s and aah’s while their mouths are stuffed] “Umm great! I’m glad, this is the first time I ordered from this place” (linger, linger) “Ok then, enjoy lunch I’ll be back around 5 to clean up.”

I can’t abide rudeness… if there was any day that I needed happy hour, it’s today. Well at least it’s almost over.

P.S. I don’t even have a great outfit to fall back on… I look a little bummish today because I had to leave so early to meet my carpool. No Bueno.

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