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Monday, Monday
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It was foggy today when I left for work in the pre-dawn cold. I hesitate to say that it is finally autumn, with winter fast approaching, because a week ago the humidity was 9% and the temperature in the 90's. However, if it isn't winter coming on, it's a darned good facsimile.

I used to get to the office early and use the time to sip my coffee, read the news online, and generally ease into the day, for the 15-20 minutes before I was officially on the clock. It's impossible, now, with the transfer to our office of a woman who talks incessantly, loudly, laughs (the nervous kind of laugh) at every small item, and has a whiny, shrill, unpleasant voice.

Unfortunately, she likes me because I have made her feel welcome and have been the "go to" person for her when there's been a problem. So she greets me with loud peals of laughter and great jollity...egad, first thing in the morning when all I want is to tiptoe quietly into the day. May the Universe protect me from loud, high-strung women.

The other employee about whom I have written in the past (Batty knows who I mean) has been so offended by my refusal to provide her with Narcissistic Sustenance (gargantuan gobs of attention and approval) that she is "punishing" me by refusing to speak beyond the bare necessities of office courtesy. Oh, joyous day. I no longer have to put up with her constant demands for attention and her imperious affirmations of perfection and her endless stories concerning her partner, her dog and her (exaggerated) adventures in life. I didn't realize how much she embroiders on the truth until I heard her recounting an event to which I had been an (unseen) witness....

The earlier-mentioned employee, however, is still running rampant, though I have managed to curb her tendency to break out into sermons at the least provocation and her voluble claims to find all the answers she needs in the Holy Bible she keeps just beside her keyboard. Little by little I hope to help her settle down and keep a lower profile.

I never realized, when I took this job, that I would end up babysitting a bunch of needy adults. No wonder middle managers have the highest stress levels in an organization! The responsibility has devolved to me because my manager is an absentee manager; without my guidance this group would end up a sandbox full of squabbling toddlers. I'm hoping to help them achieve some semblance of a team of adults.

Yeah, I know: I'm an optimist.

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