Monday, July 16, 2012

Big Possums and Other Disasters

I wish I got normal colds. I really wish I could get the sniffles and the snuffles and soldier on like normal people.

But but no, I don't get normal sniffles and snuffles. When I get a cold, for the first few days I can dose myself up on cold and flu tablets and soldier on. Then on day three or so, I turn into a lurgy ridden, coughing, grey faced zombie. It's not pretty. Everything aches. I emit yellow crap akin to that scene in The Exorcist. 

And I don't function - at all. I can't add up, put a sentence together - nothing. It's horrible. How come I can be like normal people and put on a brave face?

Then I spend a few days in bed drugged up on paracetamol and antibiotics and things come good. I know the drill - after years of finding myself laid out like this six or seven times a year you have a ready routine. I blame a bout of glandular fever in my early twenties for the dodgy immune system, thankfully now strengthened by the naturopath, keeping these colds down to once or twice a year now, and nowhere near as bad as they were Still, when I get laid out with a cold, I know about it.

I'm also thankful that I can manage these with some grace - hiding away until I can talk without sounding like a zombie.

So I found myself at the doctor's office today explaining myself.

"Upper respiratory tract infection. Sinus involvement." I moaned at her, coughing between sentences.
"I can see that." said the doctor."Your face is distorted."
"Yep. Lots of rest, fluids, paracetamol. Avoid milk. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200."
"You've done this before."
"Yep, now can I please have a script for that lovely tetracycline you give me and a doctor's certificate for today and tomorrow."
"Of course - you sure you don't want a few more days."
"Two days will be fine - if I'm still bad Wednesday, I'll come back."

The doctor checked me out, happily complied with my wishes, said every second person she was seeing at the moment was in the same state and wished me a nice couple of days in bed.

Thing is, this time, I really didn't want to be in bed.

I wanted to be in my new office, with my new work mates, in my new job. See, today, I was supposed to be  starting my new contract, in my near made to order new job.

Needless to say, I rang my agent after seeing the doctor. I'm now starting on Wednesday - which as much as it irritates me that I'm not at work, I'm taking comfort that I'll be about to function when I get there on Wednesday.

Dream job you say. Yep - well, as near as a job made to order for me comes. Working for one of the utilities companies - Sparks and Ladders, I've been taken on as an Instructional Designer as the "creative" on the team, writing training packages for he roll out of some new technology. A six month contract, it will take me up to Christmas, with the possibility of more work in the new year.

Last week I had interviews for two very different jobs. The first for a full time permanent role at a semi-Government Telco - White Elephant Optics. The interview went very well. Walking into the company I said hello to the receptionist who I knew from Tin Can, String and Whistle.

"Hello, Daphne. Swans did good on the weekend."

I haven't seen Daphne in nearly three years. She still looks like a psychedelic Christmas elf who resided in the Gold Coast for a bit too long.  All that's missing is the Pomeranian sitting in a handbag nearby.

"Hello, love. Crows did well too."

We hadn't seen each other in a few years. There was a bit of deja vu going on.

In the lift on the way up to the interview room I said hello to nearly a dozen people. The guy interviewing me asked if I knew everybody in the company.


As I was entering the interview room where the other interviewer was sitting, I was enveloped in a bear hug and noisily kissed on both cheeks. It was Gustav, another old mate from Tin Can, String and Whistle. One of my favourite people in the planet.

I told him I was interviewing and went into the room.

"Do you always get manhandled by senior management when you come here?" asked one of the interviewers.

As I said, the interview went very well.

On the way out, I texted Glen Waverley and Wubbe to see if they wanted coffee. They are seconded to White Elephant Optics at the moment. They met me in the lobby. All very convenient.

See, for what appeared to be a good job on paper, one of the great things about working there would be knowing a lot of people. The same fact could be a liability too.

The second interview of the day was later in the afternoon. I met the manager from Sparks and Ladders in a coffee shop. We talked about writing training - about the joys of large projects and the joys of having to train across demographics. She appeared to like me. She seemed pretty hard line, but I like that in a Project Manager - know where you stand. She implied that she would like me to meet the team of Change Analysts and Tech Writers. The feedback came that she found me a breath of fresh air and delightfully left of centre.

Two days later, I met the team. They seemed like a lovely bunch and we got on well.

The following day I was offered the contract to start on Monday. Today.

Thankfully the agency and the company have been understanding. I'm now starting Wednesday - and I feel better knowing that I can go in firing on all cylinders.

So today, I've been spending a lot of time in bed, drinking my clear fluids and talking to the cat.

See, Sam's cat is still with me. Waylaid on her holidays, the cat and I tick along well and the extra two weeks she's staying are no trouble at all. We get on so well that she sleeps next to my pillow, harangues me for food and gives me nips if I don't pay her attention. Her favourite place to sit is on the laptop keyboard. I bought her a couple of catnip mice to play with, aware that she has little to do around here. I've found out she's a brilliant catch - we could easily farm her out to the Australian Cricket team. Hours of fun those catnip mice are providing.

However, as with all time off sick, there is always a drawback. When migraines come, the guy with the leave blower will undoubtedly get to work for a few hours. Or a neighbour will start demolishing a kitchen. Or there's a jack hammer outside in the street.

Today's noise was provided by six guys walking over the roof replacing the guttering. Noisy buggers with cherry pickers stomping around the place all day.

Poor cat was having coniptions.

So I've spent the day reading, watching Mad Men and trying to convince the cat that the noise from the roof was just big possums - nothing to be scared of at all.

I'm wondering if all this stomping about has relocated the real possum that lives in my roof. The cat can cope with that one. The ones with steel caps not so much. Here's hoping by the time I got back to work, the cat has acclimatised to the noise or the big possums have gone elsewhere.


Kath Lockett said...

Possums for your cat, blokes working on the lift for my dog.

Hope your cold clears up by Wednesday and you get to kick corporate arse in your new job!

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Sounds like you have developed a tiny dose of "man flu" Pand ;-)

I hope you feel better soon.




Dan said...

Yay, way to go with the new job!! Pity about the cold though