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Yesterday was one of those 4 hours of overtime days, during which I didn't even get started on my high priority project until late in the afternoon. Even then I was constantly dragged away for this consultation in an emergency or for that problem to be resolved.

At the end of the day as I dragged my weary ass home I was struck by the fact that not once during the day was I sharp or impatient. Normally the moaning and whining, bitching and complaining give me fits. I get impatient and irritated.

Then it hit me. This was not their usual chorus of, "oh poor me, I'm so overworked and nobody loves me, I think I'll go out and eat a bug."

These folks, supervisors and administrators alike, were genuinely overwhelmed and distressed. Immediately I set aside all thoughts of priority projects and did what I could to help. Ordered more equipment, created the computerized sheets they are required to give the drivers, arranged for substitute drivers on a temporary basis--and listened to them unburden themselves of their frustration and anxiety.

I do a lot of that. Sometimes I think my job title should be counsellor, not what it is. However, yesterday's debacle was genuine and authentic distress always, always, calls forth the inner protector and rescuer in me. I went home feeling that I had accomplished a lot and been of a great deal of help to quite a few people. (Not, as I so often do, feeling used up and/or abused.)

However, nice as that feeling may be, I don't look for another day like that one ever again. Pressure cooker extraordinaire. My phlegmatic scandanavian heritage abhors all this sturm und drang, all this melodrama.

Time to go to work....wasn't I just there a few minutes ago?

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