Hard at Work, or Hardly Working?

tl deck 0819
Working? Or just lounging on the deck with its lovely new railing? (And don’t forget to notice the newly-moved dirt as our “yard” begins the restoration process.)

I have not really been present at work this week, telling my co-workers that I need to be home packing. If only that were true, but I think I mostly am spending my life on my phone.

I took three or four calls from Dusty alone yesterday [plus one from the doctor’s office, where my physician’s assistant is also named Dusty — and she did refill the prescription denied by the nurse practitioner, so that’s a relief], until we realized the final call was taking place with the participants about 50 feet apart. So we hung up the phones and talked like normal people. As if either of us is normal.

Here’s the plan: Ben continues to work on the plumbing, finishing in time for an inspection on Monday. Tuesday morning Dusty undergoes the county inspection as our moving crew arrives to begin loading our life into a trailer. By Tuesday night we could — assuming the universe continues to align, which is probably a dangerous assumption — be legally living in our new house. Which won’t really be finished, but close enough for government inspection.

However, some of that is predicated on packing, and it’s hard to pack when I spend my life on the phone. Next venture into the 21st century: a Bluetooth. (Okay, not really.)

Or I could not answer the phone, especially when Kara calls. One of her calls — perhaps it was a text — two days ago was to tell me that Bob is back in the hospital. One of his feet may be infected, and if it is, his leg may need to be amputated.

I have yet to speak to Bob — he wants people to call him, but then told Kara no one should call yesterday, because he wanted to nap — so I don’t know if anything further has been decided. I do gather he is continuing his winning ways with the staff. Co-worker (not plumber) Ben’s wife Kat runs the admissions desk for the hospital, and apparently had a very unpleasant interaction with Bob as he arrived.

On a daily basis, it seems, Kat has to argue with people who think their pets qualify as service animals, Bob among them with his two “service cats.” No, he wasn’t joking, but neither was Kat: they are not certified service animals, so they are not coming into the hospital.

Kara’s call to me yesterday had to be nuanced because what was a funny joke in the morning came true in the afternoon. I was at work in the morning, actually had a productive three whole hours before going home to not pack, and we were discussing how if packing with my family (Terri and my parents arrive around noon today for a 24-hour “power pack”) got too stressful, I would just signal her and she would call to say the shop was on fire.

And then I said, because it turns out I’m a prescient sort, “What if the shop is really on fire and I don’t believe you?” Ha ha ha ha ha.

So when Kara called at 5:30 last evening, she had to start with a recap of our entire morning conversation to assure me that yes, in fact, there had been a fire. A piece of paper got detached from where it lived on the back of a screen, stuck to a shirt on the automatic press and then went under a piece of heating equipment called a flash unit, where it caught fire.

On a manual press, Fortino (our main printer) could have immediately swung something out of the way, but the automatic offers less of an automatic response, so the fire got big enough that he had to deploy a fire extinguisher.

Which brought to mind a discussion I had not so long ago with our new fire marshal, Hugo Ferchau (the III, if you know the family and are counting). Looking at that very piece of equipment a couple months ago, Hugo recommended a water canister to avoid the mess of a fire extinguisher. Did I go out and get a water canister? No. Do I now regret this inaction? Yes.

Everyone should pause in their reading of this and immediately check their fire response readiness. Do your smoke detectors need new batteries? Put them in now. I say this as Lynn and I are preparing to move a tiny extinguisher that hasn’t been checked by a qualified service professional ever. Probably we should review that decision.

Kara assured me I didn’t need to come down to the shop — what has happened to me? In days of yore I would have torn down there in about 30 seconds, while yesterday I sat surrounded by the papers I was sorting and took Kara’s word for it that my presence wasn’t required.

It could just be that sometimes too much is just too much. Lynn said she told a co-worker of hers that she can’t wait for August to be over so that her life might return to a semblance of normalcy. [I believe that’s a word coined by a president. Coolidge? Harding? It’s a word now. At least today.] And this from a woman who generally can’t get enough of summer.

This morning, in 45 minutes or so, Kara’s husband is coming in a enclosed U-haul truck to move all living things not of the fauna nature (our giant plants and their smaller brethern and sistern) to their new house. I don’t know if living things are allowed in the new house prior to inspection (I think the inspectors focus more on the fauna half), but we’d like them out of here before our movers with their open-top trailer arrive. And Geoff’s a landscaping professional, so we know our babies, big and small, will be in good hands.

So once again I won’t be at work, theoretically because I’m doing other work somewhere else. As long as my phone doesn’t ring.

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