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SIZZLE AND SIGH
Feeling the burn, but not the one I should be. More the burn of going down in flames. The searing sound of burn-out headed my way if I don't look out, brake hard, turn this bus around. Teenage drama at home is definitely not helping matters.

Heavy sigh

Paris was a whirlwind one-day zoom in and out of the office. Which is actually in Antony, which is quite some ways from Paris itself, so I never had a glimpse of anything remotely Parisian, though there WERE macarons in the airport, which I restrained from. The plane was delayed an hour which meant my taxi pick-up wasn't there when I arrived at 10:30 pm and after fruitless waiting, phone calls, frustration and just plain ridiculousness, I gave up after an HOUR and managed to find another taxi that would get me to my hotel. My French colleagues commiserated and told me French taxi drivers are the worst.

Training was well-received though I was nervous about the second one and talked too fast...work is stressing me out beyond belief. Not because of the training, necessarily, just the amount of work coming in which is heaping all over me and my team. I don't know why I feel such responsibility to deal with it all. Working weekends and evenings is not helping as it seems to barely keep me from the breaking edge of catastrophe but I never really feel like I'm even close to caught up. My boss is well aware of the problem and is trying to figure out a solution, so guess until then I will just continue to cope.

The airline personnel at Orly airport were also ridiculous and should call up those taxi drivers and go bowling. When I went to the gate, after checking in and going through security, there was a sign above the gate saying that the 9:35 pm flight to Copenhagen was BOARDING NOW in big red flashing letters. I had been going to ask at the gate if they could switch me from the aisle seat I had been given to a window seat so I could try to sleep, but if we were boarding now there wasn't time for that. So I got in the line that stretched from the gate around the corner to another gate. But after 15 minutes of standing there, I overheard someone else asking if the line I was in was the one for Copenhagen, and a man some ways in front of me answered that no, it was for the flight to Nice. HRM, okay, I thought.

So I went back to the original gate and asked why the sign said boarding now for the Copenhagen flight if it was not, in fact, boarding now. Gallic shrugs were the response. Okay then, I asked, can I please switch my seat for a window instead of an aisle? Non non, the plane is full, madam.

Sigh. So I sat down and waited until they actually began the boarding process, only to send us around to that other gate and let us stand THERE for another half an hour before actually letting us board the plane. I was in row 16, exactly in the middle of the plane. Every seat around me was full all the way to the front of the plane. We finished boarding and took off and as soon as we reached cruising altitude I unbuckled my seatbelt, stood up and turned around to go to the bathroom at the back of the plane. And what to my wondering eye should appear? EMPTY SEATS ALL THE WAY BACK.

Super sigh! I asked the attendant if I might move to an empty row and was told immediately that it was no problem. So I got to lie down, which I don't think I've done on an airplane in a hundred years. But alas, I never did manage to sleep.

I wonder what they were thinking of when they were assigning seats, that they packed everyone into the front half of the plane instead of spacing people out in window and aisle seats throughout, which is the usual practice. It seems dangerous to me to cause the plane to be front-heavy, but maybe it doesn't matter?

Anyway, it was planes, trains and automobiles all the way home and I got in just after 1 a.m. The next trip hopefully won't be so crazy as I'm not flying so late either way. I just need to get through this week with my sanity intact and then it's off to Madrid and Turin!
tired
mood: tired
music: Aha—Take On Me


Comments

Wow, it sounds like a bit too much of a whirlwind trip, Liz. Glad you got to lay down. And I'm afraid to even ask about the teenage drama. I am here to attest to the fact that they do actually grow up and become responsible adults. Really. Just keep breathing. You will get through it.

I'm glad to hear it since I really doubt it some days. Off on another whirlwind trip tomorrow!

And sadly that is a typical French experience. They did not want to work, so they just told you the plane was full rather than check the computer.

They did not want to work, so they keep the erroneous boarding now sign up.

The taxi driver did not want to work, so he just didn't show up to pick you up.

All around me, on every level, are signs of a country plunging towards bankruptcy. All because no one will just.do.their.job. And when they have no jobs left? They will take to the streets, demanding the government to give them jobs.

It's really weird, because my French colleagues are fantastic. I don't know where the breakdown division lies, but maybe it's a general malaise in the service industry, or a continued antipathy to foreigners or perceived tourists, who don't speak French. We had similar experiences 25 years ago, though, so who knows?

" I don't know why I feel such responsibility to deal with it all. Working weekends and evenings is not helping as it seems to barely keep me from the breaking edge of catastrophe but I never really feel like I'm even close to caught up. "

I've often wondered if the others in your office feel as duty bound as you do or if you are the only one killing yourself. Can they hire more people?

I'm not the only one, but I'm probably one of the worst :(

I've certainly been through the experience of working most of the hours there are only to be *barely* keeping up with what needs to be done. I'm currently getting familiar with the aftermath of that as respects all of the stuff I didn't get done at home because I was spending so much time at work. Not to mention all of the ways my body is out of shape exercise-wise because I just couldn't get to the gym. Ugh.

All in all, I'm starting to think that the recovery from the insane period might last longer than the insanity.

I keep telling myself I'm lucky to have a decent job, though some days it doesn't feel like luck, it feels like damn hard work!

Hang in there - it does get better. Eventually.

Better? When? When I'm dead? :P

From Megsie

It sounds like you need another vacation! I know what you mean about working all the time. I do that too. And then there are days (like today) when I get home from work and say "screw it" and do NOTHING for work at all. I will regret this, you can be sure. But it was nice hanging out with my kids a little bit today. I totally feel for you with the drama. Sarah's mood swings are so bad that I get whiplash daily. She cries. A lot. I have to tell myself that my job is to be empathetic, when inside sometimes I am rolling my eyes. I remember that time though. It is NOT easy. :(

Re: From Megsie

I don't know that another vacation would be enough. Something has to change AT work, but I see no end in sight at this point :(

Teenagers: AUGH. I can't believe I was this bad. Ha!

(Anonymous)

Hang in there!!! (And I love A-Ha too.)

-Heather

(Anonymous)

No wonder you have said -"don't fly through Paris" - I will keep that at the top of my travel agenda. But the most important thing is you- and nonstop working is working toward failure- at some point you give out! So stop and take time for yourself - it's the only way! Love, Lizardmom

Well, I usually say it because Charles De Gaulle airport is such a hellhole...I thought Orly would be better, but apparently it's not just because of the layout/atmosphere. :(

(Anonymous)
From Willow

I'm feeling so tired too; constant thesis work is kicking my butt. And this post kind of expressed all those feelings with the annoyances of your travel stories. Maybe I'll go write a post of my own and we can make a chronicle of ho-hum-life-is-gettin-me-down posts. Seriously. Or I'll just bury my head in my book....

Re: From Willow

And you have a baby...I remember those days...sleepless torture!

(Anonymous)
From Willow

I wanted to say, I hope things ease up for you soon! The fact that I didn't, and instead hit 'post comment' and then took a big bite of chocolate, pretty much sums up my current state of mind.

Lots of love from SF!

Re: From Willow

haha! I hope so, too :)

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